Tuesday, 16 September 2014 18:33

Higher Reward For Cold Case Murder

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A higher reward is being offered by the family of an Akron teenager murdered two years ago to track down his killer. Summit County Crimestoppers and the family of Tyler Anderson are now offering $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of whoever killed Anderson after he vanished on May 17, of 2012. Tyler had just celebrated his 17th birthday when he was seen getting into a car on Kenmore Boulevard in the middle of the afternoon. His body was found later on 21st Street Southwest. He had been shot in the head.

Police say anyone with information can remain anonymous, and won't be called to testify in court.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014 16:42

Bittel Arraigned

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Former Nordonia school board president is free on bond after not entering a plea in his arraignment on Tuesday.

53-year-old Steve Bittel posted a $7,500 bond and his case has been directly indicted to Summit County Commons Pleas court.

Bittel was ordered not to be in contact with children and Judge Kim Hoover has required him to wear a GPS tracking device.

The former Nordonia school board president resigned from his position on September 12 after an invesitgation from the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force found that someone from Bittel's Sagamore Hills home was downloading child pornography.

The search from Sagamore Hills police and members of the task force prompted Bittel to have a five-hour standoff with police.

Bittel has been charged with pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor, aggravated assault, discharging a firearm and one misdemeanor count of inducing panic.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014 12:11

AUDIO Crime Down In Akron

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Akron police say the city is becoming a safer place. 

Crime rates are down in  all categories between 10% and 20%, depending on the crime category.

"There is going to be crime," said Akron Police Chief James Nice.  "It's a large city but you want to see it going in the direction of being reduced."

  January 1, 2013 - September 16, 2013 January 1, 2014 - September 16, 2014 % Change
Murder 18 15 -17
Robbery 404 297 -26
Aggravated Assault 652 534 -18
Sexual Assault 265 227 -14
Burglary 2100 1800 -16

Nice says part of the reason is simple cause and effect:  More cops are on the streets, so fewer crimes are being commited.  The city has hired 56 officers since Nice took the top position in 2011, creating a net increase of 35 cops.

He also says formation of a 12-member Neighborhood Response Team contributes to the decrease along with the 10-member Gun Violence Reduction Team.

"Now that we've identified the most dangerous people in Akron, their full time job is to pay attention to those people," said Nice.  "We're watching them, surveilling them and overall just paying attention to them and gun violence is going down as a result."

Nice says responding to verfied burglar alams, rather than responding to all of them, which includes many false alarms, the cops have more time to spend creating and implementing proactive programs to help prevent crime.  

Tuesday, 16 September 2014 11:23

Cedar Point Makes Good On Lebron Promise

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Remember when Cedar Point officials said they would rename one of the parks' coasters " King James " if Lebron James would return to the Cavaliers ? Today Cedar Point is making good on that promise, but not in the way it had announced.. Instead of naming a ride after Lebron, Cedar Point is announcing a joint decision with the LeBron James Family Foundation on a multi-year partnership which includes benefits that go far beyond renaming a coaster.

The highlight of this new partnership will happen next summer when Cedar Point hosts all of the kids who are actively involved in the foundation's "Wheels for Education" program and Akron I PROMISE Network for a day of fun with their families in the program's annual "I PROMISE Family Reunion" event.

Additionally, next spring, Cedar Point will hold a first ride auction with 100% of the proceeds benefiting the LeBron James Family Foundation.


News Release From Cedar Point

It's time to make good on a promise – and it's bigger and better than expected.

Earlier this summer, the park sent out a now-famous tweet stating that it would rename one of its coasters "King James" if LeBron James returned to Ohio. That outcome is now known. But the "ball" was back in the park's court. Today, Cedar Point announces a joint decision with the LeBron James Family Foundation on a multi-year partnership which includes benefits that go far beyond renaming a coaster.

The highlight of this new partnership will take place next summer when Cedar Point hosts all of the kids who are actively involved in the foundation's "Wheels for Education" program and Akron I PROMISE Network for a day of fun with their families in the program's annual "I PROMISE Family Reunion" event. Additionally, next spring, Cedar Point will hold a first ride auction with 100% of the proceeds benefiting the LeBron James Family Foundation.

"We are thrilled to have formed this partnership with LeBron and his foundation," said Jason McClure, vice president and general manager for Cedar Point. "It's great when two world-class organizations can come together for the benefit of kids, their education and their families."

Based in LeBron's hometown of Akron, the LeBron James Family Foundation's mission is to positively affect the lives of children and young adults through education and co-curricular educational initiatives. In 2011, in partnership with the Akron Public Schools, the Foundation began working on the high school dropout crisis facing the Akron community and launched the "Wheels for Education" program. Now serving nearly 800 Akron-area students, this groundbreaking initiative targets third graders and provides them with the programs, support and mentors they need for success in school.

"The Foundation is extremely excited about this new partnership because it's a long-term commitment that will have benefits for our kids and their families for years to come," said Michele Campbell, Executive Director of the LeBron James Family Foundation. "One of the fundamental goals of the Wheels for Education program and the Akron I PROMISE Network is to provide our students with opportunities and experiences they might not otherwise have access to, and this partnership with Cedar Point does exactly that."

Once Wheels for Education students reach middle school, they graduate into the Foundation's Akron I PROMISE Network, where they will continue to receive academic support and interventions until graduation. The first class of Wheels for Education students will graduate in 2021.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014 16:26

UPDATE Bus Driver Struck, Killed

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UPDATE: A bus driver who attempted to stop her bus from rolling away was struck by the bus and later died of her injuries in Akron Tuesday morning. The accident occurred at Middlebury Academy on Kent Street around 8 this morning as the 51-year old driver was performing evacuation drills with students outside the private charter school.

The Summit County Medical Examiner confirms Laura Zborowski of Congo Street in Akron died of her injuries a short time later at Akron City Hospital. Just before she tried to get back on board the bus, she pushed a 10-year old girl out of the path of the rolling vehicle.

Akron Police and the Medical Examiner are investigating. The Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy on Wednesday. The State Highway Patrol is now examining the bus to determine what went wrong and if there was a mechanical failure. 

Previous Coverage

Akron police have confirmed that a bus driver was struck and killed by a school bus at Middlebury Academy on Kent Street this morning. The bus apparently wasn't in gear, rolled back, and struck the driver.

The Beacon Journal reports the 51-year old female driver was killed. The newspaper reports that the driver, whose identification is being withheld until relatives are notified by police and the medical examiner, rescued a 10-year-old girl and tried to get back on the bus to re-engage its brakes.

The woman was pulled under the bus and was dragged about 40 feet.

The incident happened during an evacuation drill at the school.

On the web: www.ohio.com


Akron City Council moved ahead on two items related to the city's sewer project, but not without debate.

The two items related to property acquisitions had been put on council's consent agenda, but were pulled off for further consideration.

4th ward councilmember Russ Neal wanted to wait until a council got an update on a new "integrated" sewer plan that could save money.

"How can we continue to vote and pass legislation and do construction that may not be necessary," Neal says. "And that's my concern."

But at-large councilmember Jeff Fusco said it was important to show that Akron's serious about moving ahead, with the current "long term control" plan still in effect.

"By us committing to going forward with these projects," Fusco says, "we're demonstrating to the (U.S.) EPA and the judge that we are sincere about this, and that we will be moving forward."

Fusco also says the city risked penalties for not making deadlines under its consent decree.

In the end, council voted 11-2 to move ahead on the items that Fusco and Mayor Don Plusquellic said were part of already approved parts of the project...with Neal and at-large councilmember Mike Williams opposed.

Council's update on the potential "integrated" plan is tentatively set for September 29th.

Council also approved a new, larger transitional housing facility designed to help homeless women.

The facility on Buchtel Avenue will offer women services including job training and education, and offer it to more women.

It's a building that was formerly used by Child Guidance and Family Services. Council members said it was a good use for the building, which has access to transportation.

Council also approved a new streetside sign for the Summit County Health Department along West Market Street.

The department is moving its headquarters into the Fairway Center complex in Akron's Wallhaven area.

UPDATED 4:27 p.m. Akron police have filed charges against Jason M. Lee, 18, or Barbara Avenue in Akron in connection with this morning's shooting at a Metro RTA bus stop that led to three schools to be locked down.

East High, Selberling and Barber Community Learning Centers were on lock down when police started a search for the triggerman in the shooting of a 16-year old North High School student at the bus stop on Eastland and Tonawanda. The 16-year old was wounded in a flurry of at least four shot, and transported to Akron City Hospital where he was in stable condition with a gunshot wound.

As an 18-year old Lee will face charges as an adult and will be booked on felonious assault charges.

- - -

(APD) Detectives signed charges of felonious assault on Jason M. Lee, 18, of Barbara Avenue in Akron, for his involvement in this morning's shooting at Eastland Avenue and Tonawanda Avenue.

Lee fired several shots at a 16 year old male following an ongoing feud between the two. The 16 year old was struck and transported to Akron City Hospital where he is listed in stable condition.

Jason Lee will be booked into the Summit County Jail.

- - -

Additional charges are expected.An argument that started on a Metro bus ended in gunfire at a bus stop at Tonawanda and Eastland Avenues this morning. An 18 year old man and a 16-year old North High School student started arguing on a Metro bus around 7:30 this morning. The bus driver ordered them off the bus. According to Akron Police Lieutenant Rick Edwards they complied and continued the argument at the bus stop at Tonawanda and Eastland Avenues. Thats when the 18-year old suspect fired several shots at the 16 year old. The victim was undergoing surgery and is listed in serious condition at Akron City Hospital.

Edwards says the 18-year old suspect and a woman are in police custody but no charges have been filed so far as the investigation continues.

Akron Public Schools officials temporarily locked down East High School and Barber and Seiberling Elementary Schools, but later lifted the lockdowns.

Monday, 15 September 2014 08:24

Fire Kills One In Stark

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A Plain Township man is dead following a fire in his trailer.  

According to the Repository, the body of Carl Lawson, 56, was found inside the trailer on Dennis Court N.E. Sunday morning.  Something inside the trailer ignited between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.  Neighbors noticed something wrong around 10:00 A.M. Sunday.

Sheriff's deputies told the newspaper that they were told Lawson had not been in good health.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

On the Web:  www.cantonrep.com 

Monday, 15 September 2014 08:16

AUDIO Parent Coordinators Needed In Akron

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Summit County Domestic Relations Court is welcoming new state guidelines for a program designed to help divorced parents understand their court-approved parenting plan.

Having a plan in place makes it sound easy but some parents continue to fight - over just about anything - until their children are grown.

"I've had people in Parent Coordination who have disputed who gets to pass out the Tootsie Rolls at Halloween all the way to what school the children are going to go to," said Family Count Services Director Randy Flick. 

Parent Coordination is one of several programs set up to keep families civil and out of the courthouse.  Remember the Children is a three-hour class required for everyone seeking a divorce or dissolution with children.  Working Together is a one-hour class that involves mediation and education.  Some parents need to go beyond those options.  They could spend nine hours in the Positive Solutions program.  There are others, too, including Parent Coordination.

"The parent coordinator is just somebody who's just going to help them navigate their plan, report to the court what decisions they've made or what decisions they can't make so that if they do end up back in court, at least the court has information on what they were able to work out and not work out," said Community Outreach Director Susan Tucker.

Parent Coordination has been in place for years but the Ohio Supreme Court recently came up with some new guidelines that are supposed to add more organization and oversight.

The program needs more Parent Coordinators, who are essentially mediators, to help.  Training is provided.


Monday, 15 September 2014 07:41

Help Sought For Airport Plan

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The Akron-Canton Airport wants your input on its master plan and what you would like to see at the airport in the future. CAK President and CEO Rick McQueen says the master plan is considered a "blueprint" for the airport for the next 20 years.

"They looked at how the increase in airline traffic and passenger traffic will impact our facilities and then how we can logically, financially and responsibly improve those facilities to meet those demands," said McQueen.

McQueen said the master plan will look at a number of different aspects at the airport including updates to the entrance at the airport, parking deck options and ways to improve customer service.

"The master plan looked at everything at the facility, said McQueen. "We don't just look at runways, we don't just look at terminals, we don't just look at parking. We look at everything comprehensively ."

CAK will host a public meeting on September 17th on the second floor of the terminal building at 5 p.m. CAK plans to complete and submit their master plan to the FAA by the end of this year.

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