Thursday, 08 October 2015 17:53

Jo-Ann Fabrics Slims By 103 Hudson Workers

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A big craft store company based in Hudson is terminating over 100 workers at the company's headquarters.

Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores says 103 employees at the Darrow Road headquarters are being let go after a "strategic reorganization".

The Hudson Hub-Times reports that Jo-Ann's Hudson headquarters employed about 1150 workers in 2008.

It says city officials were set to talk with Jo-Ann officials today/Friday to discuss a number of items with the company's new management.


On the Web: Hudson Hub-Times,

Classes at the University of Mount Union have been canceled today due to the death of student overnight, according to the Beacon Journal.

The university posted on Facebook that counseling and pastoral services will be available in Dewald Chapel today through 4 p.m. Officials say faculty and staff will also be on campus to provide additional support.

Further details were not released.

Over $51 million is being funneled to over 300 crime victim support agencies by the Ohio Attorney General's Office.

And nearly $229,000 will go to Akron General Medical Center, to establish a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program that helps victims of sexual assaults.

After St. Thomas Hospital's emergency room closed in 2013, a similar program ended.

Though local emergency rooms have tried to fill the gap since, Jennifer Savitski with Akron General says the specially trained nurses are needed for both care and legal reasons.

Savitski is medical director of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program at Akron General, as well as the vice chair of Akron General department of obstetrics and gynecology, and program director of the OB residency.

"There really are aspects of the exam, and the evidence collection that is very specialized," Savitski tells, "because we do have to follow the rules of evidence in the state of Ohio, in order for that evidence to be entered in a court of law."

Savitski says that means the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner can even testify in court if that's needed.

She says the specially trained nurses are needed in the area of identifying sexual assault injuries.

"Sometimes that type of injury can be very different than just the typical type of medical care that a nurse might provide," Savitski says, "and so they're trained on how to identify that, and then also how to screen the patients for more serious injury that may be related to their assault."

Kent's Townhall II also received money from the Attorney General's office...the office says money came from a "marked increase" in federal funding for crime victims.

The amount from the Department of Justice increased nearly three times over last fiscal year.


(Ohio Attorney General's Office, news release) Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced today that he is awarding more than $51 million to 307 crime victim service providers across Ohio as part of the newly established "Ohio Attorney General's Expanding Services and Empowering Victims Initiative."

The funds are being awarded as the result of a marked increase in Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant funding from the U.S. Department of Justice for 2015-2016. In fiscal year 2014-2015, Ohio received $15,993,857 in VOCA funding, as opposed to this fiscal year's award of $69,888,068. The fund is financed by federal settlements, fines, and fees.

Additional grant recipients will be announced in the future.

"No matter where you live in this state, we want victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes to have access to the essential services needed to report crimes, seek justice, and recover," said Attorney General DeWine. "Through this initiative, we will help crime victim service agencies throughout the state enhance the essential services they already provide to crime victims in Ohio, while also funding brand new programs that will help empower survivors to overcome their victimization."

Attorney General DeWine created the "Ohio Attorney General's Expanding Services and Empowering Victims Initiative" to determine how the funds could best be spent to serve victims of crime in Ohio.

Of the $51 million in grants announced today, an estimated $15 million will go toward providing services to domestic violence victims, nearly $10 million will go to prosecutor-based programs, and more than $9 million will go toward serving victims of sexual assault. Additional funds will assist agencies that provide services to at-risk youth and human trafficking victims, court appointed special advocates, and child advocacy centers.

Some of the new programs being funded as part of the "Ohio Attorney General's Expanding Services and Empowering Victims Initiative" include:

Domestic Violence Relocation Grant: $250,000 - Funds will be provided to the Ohio Domestic Violence Network to help relocate survivors of domestic violence who need emergency housing across the state. The grant will help pay for some living expenses, moving expenses, and utility deposits for victims of domestic violence.

Logan County Domestic Violence Shelter: $416,675.51 - Funds will be provided to Consolidated Care, Inc., to be used toward establishing a domestic violence shelter in Logan County that will be a 24-hour safe and secure emergency location providing food, clothing, and personal items for survivors' immediate needs. Logan County does not currently have a domestic violence shelter.

Statewide Rape Crisis Hotline: $1,253,087.12 - Funds will be provided to the OhioHealth Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio to develop and implement a 24-hour statewide sexual violence hotline to serve survivors of sexual and relationship violence across the state.

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Grants: $580,465.36 - Six grants adding up to $580,465.36 will be given to Akron General Medical Center, Mount Carmel Medical Center, Townhall II of Kent, Crime Victim Services of Allen County, Cleveland Clinic/Fairview Hospital, and Southwest Community Health Foundation to increase the number of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) in Ohio. SANEs are specifically trained to conduct sexual assault exams, support victims during the sexual assault exam process, and testify in court if needed.

Improving Access to Sexual Assault Services for the Disabled: $75,371.24 - Funds will be provided to Disability Rights Ohio to provide more robust advocacy for those with disabilities and provide individualized one-on-one support for victims of sexual assault to help them access services, seek justice, and access recovery programs. Funds will also be used to train advocates with Helpline of Delaware and Morrow Counties, New Directions of Knox County, and the Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio on how to best assist victims with disabilities.

Deaf/Hard of Hearing Victim Services: $198,000 - Funds will be provided to the Ohio School for the Deaf to help empower deaf or hard of hearing victims to become more comfortable reporting crime, be aware of existing crime victim resources, and have increased self-confidence navigating through the criminal justice system.

Unattended/Unattached Youth Collaborative Grants: $224,349.81 - Four grants adding up to $224,349.81 will be provided to the Ohio Domestic Violence Network, Ohio State University Star House, Sojourners Care Network of Vinton County, and Compass Family and Community Services of Mahoning County to help youth who are at-risk to become victims of human trafficking and sexual commercialization to address past victimization and prevent future victimization in order to stop the cycle of violence.

East Cleveland Homeless Youth Grant: $86,302 - Funds will be provided to Broken Connections in East Cleveland to help them hire three advocates to focus on working specifically with homeless youth who have been victims of crime, connect them with services to help prevent them from becoming permanently homeless, and help them cope with the trauma of victimization.

A full list of agencies receiving funds as part of the $51 million in awards announced today can be found on the Attorney General's website.

Among the additional grant recipients to be announced at a later date include colleges and universities that will be awarded $3 million in competitive grants to strengthen their sexual assault advocacy programs.

As part of separate grant funding also announced today, Attorney General DeWine awarded nearly 200 crime victim services agencies with more than $3 million in grants from the State Victim Assistance Act (SVAA). A list of agencies receiving SVAA grants can also be found on the Attorney General's website.

Wednesday, 07 October 2015 12:45

Ivery Claims Self-Defense In Murder Trial

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The defense presented their case Thursday) morning after the prosecution rested in the murder trial of Kenan Ivery who is accused of killing Akron police officer Justin Winebrenner at Papa Don's Pub last November.

Kenan Ivery took the stand -- claiming self-defense in the fatal shooting. Ivery says he returned back to the bar after he was kicked out to pick up the chicken wings he ordered that night. During cross examination, Ivery says he pulled the trigger in self defense because he believed those involved were trying to reach for his gun.

Prosecutors ended questioning by asking if Ivery fired the four shots that killed off-duty cop Winebrenner. Ivery said yes, but also claimed the shots were fired in self-defense and said he was scared.

Ivery said he didn't know anyone was shot until he was confronted by police.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Closing arguments are scheduled for Tuesday.

Tuesday, 06 October 2015 17:40

Indians Shuffle Execs Up After Shapiro Departure

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With the departure of team president Mark Shapiro to Toronto, the Cleveland Indians have moved up the executives under him.

General manager Chris Antonetti becomes the Indians' President of Baseball Operations. Mike Chernoff moves up from assistant general manager to general manager.

Derek Falvey moves up to assistant general manager.

Antonetti will concentrate on baseball issues, as owner Paul Dolan will handle the team's business operations.


(Cleveland Indians, release) The Cleveland Indians today announced the following promotions in the Baseball Operations Department:

Named CHRIS ANTONETTI President of Baseball Operations.

Promoted MIKE CHERNOFF to General Manager.

Promoted DEREK FALVEY to Assistant General Manager.

Antonetti, 41, recently completed his fifth season as Cleveland Indians General Manager after being elevated to the position following the 2010 campaign. Chris joined the organization in 1999 and served as the club's Assistant GM for nine seasons, 2002-10. Under Antonetti's leadership the club secured long term agreements with Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco this past spring, joining Cody Allen, Trevor Bauer, Yan Gomes, Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley among players under club control thru at least the 2018 season.

Chernoff, 34, just completed his 12th season with the Indians organization, serving the last five years since October 2010 in the Assistant General Manager role. His tenure with the ball club began in June 2003 as an intern in Baseball Operations following his graduation from Princeton University. Chernoff has been involved in all aspects of baseball operations and has played an instrumental role assisting Antonetti in the club's player and contract procurement

Falvey, 32, recently completed his eighth season with the Indians and fourth as the Director of Baseball Operations after being named to the position in December 2011. Derek began his Indians career in November 2007 as a Baseball Operations intern after earning his degree and pitching at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. Falvey has worked closely with Antonetti and Chernoff in addition to assisting Terry Francona and the field staff with day-to-day activities involving the Major League club.

These moves will not impact the business operations as Indians Owner and Chairman Paul Dolan will continue to assume those responsibilities related to outgoing Indians President Mark Shapiro's recent departure.

"Across our industry, job responsibilities in Baseball Operations have expanded considerably over the last 10 years and these moves reflect a structure that a number of other teams have recently adopted," said Cleveland Indians Owner and Chairman PAUL DOLAN. "Chris will continue to work closely with Tito, overseeing the direction of all our baseball decision-making, while Mike and Derek now hold titles that better align with responsibilities they have already largely assumed in our on-going efforts to develop members of our organization. I am encouraged that their leadership presence in our front office provides us with continuity and contributes positively to the culture of growth we have worked hard to build across our organization."

Tuesday, 06 October 2015 14:16

Judge: Nexus Can Survey In Medina County

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The Nexus gas pipeline company gets a victory in a Medina County court.

Judge Christopher Collier ruled to allow pipeline surveyors on property of Medina County residents without their permission.

Collier says he had to rule based on the legal language at hand, though he did say he was "sympathetic" to arguments from residents hoping to block surveying.

Collier's ruling says the Nexus company gave proper notice, and is allowed to survey without landowners' permission.

The ruling is attached to this story.


On the Web: Spectra Energy,

Tuesday, 06 October 2015 12:22

Akron Man Shot By SWAT Officer Dies

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Police have confirmed that the 27-year-old Akron man who was shot by a SWAT officer more than two weeks ago at a South Canton Road business has died.

Police said Omar Ali died Monday evening due to complications from the gunshot wound he suffered when authorities tried to execute a search warrant at his business, The Hookah House, on September 21.

According to police, the Narcotic Unit had been investigating the business for drug sales. Officers were called to the business on Sept. 21 after a woman reported that the father of her baby, Ali, struck her in the face and choked her.

Authorities said the SWAT team "breached the front door to the business and then gave loud verbal commands for Omar Ali to come out with his hands up." Ali allegedly refused to obey the officer's commands and reached into his back waistband, "as if grabbing for something."

A SWAT officer reportedly fired a round striking Ali in the right upper torso. Officials said a detective recovered 2.8 grams of heroin and 5 unit doses of Suboxone strips hidden in Omar Ali's buttocks. Police said a gun was found in Ali's business. 

Tuesday, 06 October 2015 10:09

Rolling Acres Sheriff's Sale Delayed, Again

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We'll have to wait a little longer to see what happens with the Rolling Acres Mall property. The fourth sheriff's sale planned this morning has been delayed after the owners filed for bankruptcy in the state of Delaware.
"Honestly, I feel like it's playing the system on their part," said Summit County Sheriff Steve Barry. "When you have the legalities involved, they tie are hands up and there's just nothing we can do legally." 
Barry confirmed the news to WAKR's Jasen Sokol. He says they are working with the prosecutor's office to see how they can move forward. 
If it sounds familiar, it's because it has happened before. The three previous sheriff's sales were cancelled after bankruptcy was filed.
Previous Coverage: 
Tuesday, 06 October 2015 10:39

Stow Checkbook Is Online

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Stow taxpayers who want to know how their money is spent, can now check out that information online.

Stow's the first Summit County city to sign up for the "Ohio Checkbook" program.

Council president Matt Riehl says the city's finances are easily tracked, from small expenses to large.

"Anything from a couple of bucks for some pens and paper, all the way up to items like asphalt, and consultants," Riehl tells, "you name it, it's on there."

Riehl recommends that other cities open up their finances online.

"Absolutely other cities should do this," Riehl says. "It is the people's money, and they have a right to know how their politicians spend this."

Stow's participation is part of State Treasurer Josh Mandel's "Ohio Checkbook" program, and was approved by Stow City Council by unanimous, non-partisan vote.

University of Akron President Dr. Scott Scarborough took center stage at a town hall meeting-style discussion on campus Monday.

Nearly one hundred students showed up to the Student Union to ask the president anonymous questions by sending text messages which displayed on a monitor.

Scarborough touched on about 25 topics during the two hour meeting. One of the most popular issues was the cuts made at E.J Thomas Hall.

"When we looked at the economic performance of E.J. Thomas it was losing in any year anywhere between one-point-two and two millions dollars," said Scarborough. "And given the financial challenges that we had overall we need to find a way to continue with E.J. Thomas, but not lose that much per year."

Many students were also looking for answers about the elimination of the varsity baseball program.

"Our commitment to intercollegiate athletics is very strong, but the question is always going to be 'what is the appropriate level of investment ?', said Scarborough. "We are an academic institution first and foremost , so we're always going to make those decisions that we believe are going to keep this university stronger."

Something that will not be dismissed anytime soon, according to Scarborough, is the name of the university. He addressed that once again as well.

"The name of the university does not change, so the degree will continue to say 'The University of Akron'," said Scarborough. "What we're trying to do is to take the University of Akron's great name and all of the equity and strength that it has and make it even stronger."

And don't worry, Zippy isn't going anywhere either.

"I've never heard of one person that wants to get rid of Zippy, not one," said Scarborough. "And I've heard many different ideas, so I think that suggests that Zippy is beloved. In fact, she is on our list of university strengths ."

Senior PR major Sofia Syned was one of the students in attendance . She says she wasn't very satisfied with how Scarborough answered the questions.

"I believe he did not answer those questions," she said. "I feel like they were scripted and a lot of people's questions weren't answered that were texted in."

Fellow student Israa Eddeb agrees and thinks the school is being run more like a business and less like...a school.

"I feel like what the university is currently doing is trying to market the school as opposed to helping the students ", she said. "I feel like the student are less priority, the current students especially. They're looking just towards the future students. So I really want to know how are they going to help us now and not the future students coming up?"

Undergraduate Student Government Chief of Staff Megan Bodenchatz, who helped put on the event, says even though there may still be some concerns, she was satisfied with Scarborough's answers.

"I think that there still is a little bit of murky water, but overall I think that he did a really great job of trying to communicate with the students what's going on in the university and what the future of the university holds." she said.

Other topics that were addressed included campus safety, a possible k-12 laboratory school, the impact of LeBron James' partnership, the reduced cost of gen-ed courses, and the infamous olive jar.

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