Saturday, 28 February 2015 07:24

Browns Ink McCown

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Brian Hoyer apparently won't need to think about which shade of orange he's wearing -- unless he winds up in Denver or Tampa Bay. The Cleveland Browns sent a message with the three-year deal signing of journeyman quarterback Josh McCown Friday. Browns General Manager Ray Farmer says McCown -- who started 11 games for the 2-14 Buccaneers last season -- "...will help continue to move us in the right direction and help us build the type of team that will bring winning football to Cleveland."

- - -

(Cleveland Browns) The Browns have agreed to terms with veteran quarterback Josh McCown, general manager Ray Farmer announced Friday.

McCown, 35, spent the past season -- his 12th in the NFL -- with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he started 11 games.

"Josh is your consummate professional," Farmer said. "He's known to be a great guy in the locker room and will be great for the quarterback room. He knows how to get an entire offense on the same page and get a team to rally behind him. He has been exposed to a lot of different types of offenses and we think still has the drive and skill set to be a successful quarterback in this league.

"We are excited to get him and believe he will help continue to move us in the right direction and help us build the type of team that will bring winning football to Cleveland."

McCown said he's excited to step into an environment where he can simultaneously compete for a starting job while mentoring the Browns' young quarterbacks.

"I just want to serve our team and help everybody in that locker room, do my best to help everybody in the locker room be better at their job and they're going to help me, too. It's a two-way street," McCown said. "I'm just excited about coming in and being a part of a team.

"Year 1 was a solid first year for coach (Mike) Pettine, and to see the vision with what he's got going on is exciting to me. In my room, I want to be able to help those young guys and pass along my knowledge and experiences I've had and help them grow."

McCown added he's "going to compete at the best level I can to help our team get better."

"We're going to be good at running the football and playing defense and being smart with the football at quarterback," McCown said. "Those are the things I know are going to be stressed. Those are the things I'm going to be focused on as we compete.

"As a quarterback, it starts off with the offensive line. You look at the guys they have there, namely, Joe Thomas and Alex Mack, it's a rare opportunity. Between meeting with the coaches and having a good connection with Coach Pettine and the offensive coaches, and those pieces on offense, that's kind of what drove the ship for me."

McCown, who hails from Jacksonville, Texas, threw for 2,206 yards, 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions last season for the Buccaneers. He missed five games with a thumb injury.

McCown thrived in 2013 when he was summoned to starting duty with the Chicago Bears. He accumulated the majority of his 1,829 yards and 13 touchdowns over a stretch of five starts during the second half of the season. During a three-game stretch in late November and early December, he threw for 348 or more yards in each game and eight touchdowns overall.

"Josh is a high-character, savvy, veteran quarterback that has a lot to offer to our team," Pettine said. "When you hear from people that have been around Josh, they speak of the leadership qualities and the positive impact he has on a locker room. I really enjoyed spending time with him during his visit. He has great passion for playing the quarterback position and wants to show that he can still be successful in this league.

"Obviously, he is a quarterback that has been in a number of systems and he has worked with (Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo) so there is some good familiarity between the two. We are excited to have him become part of our team and we look forward to him playing an important role in our offense."

A third-round pick in 2002, McCown spent his first four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, working primarily as a backup until 2004, when he started 13 games. McCown threw for a career-high 2,511 yards and 11 touchdowns that season and followed with six more starts in 2005.

After his time with the Cardinals, McCown spent a season apiece with Detroit (2006), Oakland (2007) and Carolina (2008). While he was with the Raiders, McCown worked under DeFilippo, who was the Raiders' quarterbacks coach at the time.

After a one-year stint with the UFL's Hartford Colonials, McCown returned to the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers in 2011 before joining the Bears later that season.

Friday, 27 February 2015 16:31

Coming Attractions Building For Sale

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The building holding bridal shop that gained worldwide notoriety when nurse Amber Vinson visited is up for sale.

"Coming Attractions" owner Anna Younker tells WAKR that it's because FirstMerit Bank wants the shop's business line of credit paid off immediately. "We knew we would have to sell the building to pay the rest of our obligations," Younker tells WAKR.net. "But we had it under control, and we knew that would be the next step that we would have to take. All the same, Younker says she was surprised when the bank called the business loan...surprised it was called so soon.

"They're afraid of not getting paid," Younker says, "but the problem we had is that we're not late, we've never missed a payment, we have a plan on how we're going to pay off that line." Younker says she thinks the bank called the loan...because they may think there won't be assets to pay it back. 

The bridal shop Vinson visited before being diagnosed with the Ebola virus has been in an orderly shutdown process, and that was expected to wrap up by May. Younker says she appreciated the offer of help from the city of Akron to start fresh at a new location, but she wasn't ready to do that. "I guess they didn't really realize there's more involved with starting all over," Younker said. "You know, it takes a lot of energy and right now, I don't have the money, and I guess it's time to move on, I guess."

She says a $10,000 "GoFundMe" donation helped a lot as she has been winding down the business, but wasn't enough to actually save the business.

Friday, 27 February 2015 15:09

The Snow Is Coming - Again

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UPDATE 12:53 p.m. Let's try all of this again, shall we? Still calling for as little as four inches, as much as eight inches, and greater Akron still in the crosshairs. Heaviest snow to come still forecast for during the day on Sunday but now the Winter Storm Watch starts at 4:00 a.m. on Sunday and ends at 7:00 a.m. on Monday. 

A STORM SYSTEM WILL DEVELOP OVER THE OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE REGION
TODAY AND MOVE QUICKLY NORTHEAST TOWARD THE AREA. THIS STORM
SYSTEM WILL BRING WITH IT PLENTY OF MOISTURE AND WARMER AIR. SNOW
WILL SPREAD NORTHEAST INTO THE AREA TONIGHT AND CONTINUE THROUGH
THE DAY ON SUNDAY. THE SNOW WILL END FROM WEST TO EAST SUNDAY
NIGHT.

OHZ013-014-020>023-031>033-038-089-PAZ001>003-282300-
/O.CON.KCLE.WS.A.0003.150301T0900Z-150302T1200Z/
GEAUGA-ASHTABULA INLAND-MEDINA-SUMMIT-PORTAGE-TRUMBULL-WAYNE-
STARK-MAHONING-HOLMES-ASHTABULA LAKESHORE-NORTHERN ERIE-
SOUTHERN ERIE-CRAWFORD PA-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...CHARDON...JEFFERSON...MEDINA...AKRON...
RAVENNA...WARREN...WOOSTER...CANTON...YOUNGSTOWN...MILLERSBURG...
ASHTABULA...ERIE...EDINBORO...MEADVILLE
953 AM EST SAT FEB 28 2015

...WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH
MONDAY MORNING...

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...4 TO 8 INCHES.

* TIMING...SNOW IS EXPECTED TO SPREAD INTO THE AREA LATE TONIGHT AND THEN
CONTINUE INTO SUNDAY NIGHT.

* TIME OF HEAVIEST SNOW...THE HEAVIEST SNOW IS EXPECTED DURING THE DAY ON SUNDAY.

* SNOW END TIME...THE SNOW IS EXPECTED TO GRADUALLY END FROM WEST
TO EAST SUNDAY NIGHT.

* IMPACTS...SNOW WILL BE THE MAIN THREAT DURING THIS EVENT.
HAZARDOUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED DUE TO REDUCED
VISIBILITY FROM THE SNOW AND SNOW ACCUMULATION.

Previous coverage:

UPDATE 8:56 a.m. Saturday: Cuyahoga and Lorain Counties have been dropped from the Winter Storm Watch but Summit, Medina, Stark, Portage and Wayne Counties remain under watch through Monday morning. The National Weather Service continues to forecast heavy snow for Sunday but totals have been downgraded to 4-8 inches instead of the 6-10" forecast models Friday. 

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CLEVELAND OH
254 AM EST SAT FEB 28 2015
 
...ANOTHER WINTER STORM BEARING DOWN ON THE REGION...
 
.A STORM SYSTEM WILL DEVELOP OVER THE OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE REGION
TODAY AND MOVE QUICKLY NORTHEAST TOWARD THE AREA. THIS STORM
SYSTEM WILL BRING WITH IT PLENTY OF MOISTURE AND WARMER AIR. SNOW
WILL SPREAD NORTHEAST INTO THE AREA TONIGHT AND CONTINUE THROUGH
THE DAY ON SUNDAY. THE SNOW WILL END FROM WEST TO EAST SUNDAY
NIGHT.
 
OHZ013-014-020>023-031>033-038-089-PAZ001>003-281600-
/O.EXT.KCLE.WS.A.0003.150301T0900Z-150302T1200Z/
GEAUGA-ASHTABULA INLAND-MEDINA-SUMMIT-PORTAGE-TRUMBULL-WAYNE-
STARK-MAHONING-HOLMES-ASHTABULA LAKESHORE-NORTHERN ERIE-
SOUTHERN ERIE-CRAWFORD PA-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...CHARDON...JEFFERSON...MEDINA...AKRON...
RAVENNA...WARREN...WOOSTER...CANTON...YOUNGSTOWN...MILLERSBURG...
ASHTABULA...ERIE...EDINBORO...MEADVILLE
254 AM EST SAT FEB 28 2015
 
...WINTER STORM WATCH NOW IN EFFECT FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH
MONDAY MORNING...
 
* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...4 TO 8 INCHES.
 
* SNOW IS EXPECTED TO SPREAD INTO THE AREA LATE TONIGHT AND THEN
  CONTINUE INTO SUNDAY NIGHT.
 
* THE HEAVIEST SNOW IS EXPECTED DURING THE DAY ON SUNDAY.
 
* THE SNOW IS EXPECTED TO GRADUALLY END FROM WEST TO EAST SUNDAY
  NIGHT.
 
* IMPACTS...SNOW WILL BE THE MAIN THREAT DURING THIS EVENT.
  HAZARDOUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED DUE TO REDUCED
  VISIBILITY FROM THE SNOW AND SNOW ACCUMULATION.

Prior coverage:

The prospect for heavy snow, again, has prompted the National Weather Service to put up a Winter Storm Watch for Northern Ohio from late Saturday evening until early Monday morning.

The Weather Service says anywhere from 6 to 10 inches of snow are expected as a storm system moves quickly northeast from the Oklahoma Panhandle.

The heaviest snow accumuluation is expected during the day on Sunday.

...ANOTHER WINTER STORM BEARING DOWN ON THE REGION...

.A STORM SYSTEM WILL DEVELOP OVER THE OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE REGION
SATURDAY AND MOVE QUICKLY NORTHEAST TOWARD THE AREA. THIS STORM
SYSTEM WILL BRING WITH IT PLENTY OF MOISTURE AND WARMER AIR TO THE
AREA. SNOW WILL SPREAD NORTHEAST INTO THE AREA SATURDAY NIGHT AND
CONTINUE THROUGH THE DAY ON SUNDAY. THE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL
MOVE NORTHEAST OF THE REGION. THE SNOW WILL END FROM WEST TO EAST
SUNDAY NIGHT.

OHZ003-006>014-017>023-027>033-036>038-047-089-PAZ001>003-280415-
/O.NEW.KCLE.WS.A.0003.150301T0300Z-150302T1200Z/
LUCAS-WOOD-OTTAWA-SANDUSKY-ERIE OH-LORAIN-CUYAHOGA-LAKE-GEAUGA-
ASHTABULA INLAND-HANCOCK-SENECA-HURON-MEDINA-SUMMIT-PORTAGE-
TRUMBULL-WYANDOT-CRAWFORD-RICHLAND-ASHLAND-WAYNE-STARK-MAHONING-
MARION-MORROW-HOLMES-KNOX-ASHTABULA LAKESHORE-NORTHERN ERIE-
SOUTHERN ERIE-CRAWFORD PA-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...TOLEDO...BOWLING GREEN...PORT CLINTON...
FREMONT...SANDUSKY...LORAIN...CLEVELAND...MENTOR...CHARDON...
JEFFERSON...FINDLAY...TIFFIN...NORWALK...MEDINA...AKRON...
RAVENNA...WARREN...UPPER SANDUSKY...CAREY...BUCYRUS...MANSFIELD...
ASHLAND...WOOSTER...CANTON...YOUNGSTOWN...MARION...MOUNT GILEAD...
MILLERSBURG...MOUNT VERNON...ASHTABULA...ERIE...EDINBORO...
MEADVILLE
305 PM EST FRI FEB 27 2015

...WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY EVENING THROUGH
MONDAY MORNING...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CLEVELAND HAS ISSUED A WINTER
STORM WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY EVENING THROUGH
MONDAY MORNING.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...6 TO 10 INCHES POSSIBLE.

* SNOW IS EXPECTED TO SPREAD INTO THE AREA LATE SATURDAY EVENING
  AND SPREAD ACROSS THE AREA BY MIDNIGHT SATURDAY NIGHT.

* THE HEAVIEST SNOW IS EXPECTED DURING THE DAY ON SUNDAY.

* THE SNOW IS EXPECTED TO GRADUALLY END FROM WEST TO EAST SUNDAY NIGHT.

* IMPACTS...SNOW WILL BE THE MAIN THREAT DURING THIS EVENT.
  HAZARDOUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED DUE TO REDUCED
  VISIBILITY FROM THE SNOW AND SNOW ACCUMULATION.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THAT HEAVY SNOW IS POSSIBLE. IF YOU
ARE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...REMAIN ALERT TO RAPIDLY CHANGING
WEATHER CONDITIONS. STAY TUNED TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OR
THE LOCAL NEWS MEDIA FOR THE LATEST UPDATES AND POSSIBLE
WARNINGS.
Friday, 27 February 2015 14:19

Tighe Found Guilty In Woman, Son's Death

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The man accused of murdering his girlfriend and her young son has been found guilty of aggravated murder charges.

NewsChannel 5 reports that was the jury's sentencing verdict in the case of 41 year-old Daniel Tighe, in the August 2013 death of 31 year-old Wendy Ralston and her son, Peyton. Their bodies were find behind their Tallmadge home.

Tighe could get the death penalty as a result of an aggravated murder conviction.

The jury started deliberations on Thursday afternoon and completed them Friday afternoon.

The Beacon Journal reports that Tighe's sentencing hearing will start March 19th. A jury will decide on a penalty for him - either death or life in prison.

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On the Web: WEWS NewsChannel 5, www.newsnet5.com

Akron Beacon Journal, www.ohio.com

 

Thursday, 26 February 2015 14:15

Chase Leads To Cuyahoga County, Arrest

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Two people were arrested after a traffic stop on East Wilbeth Road Wednesday night ended up in a chase all the way to Bedford Heights.

Akron police say detectives were looking for drugs when they stopped the Cadillac SUV. The driver then drove away through a business fence and ended up northbound on State Route 8.

Police say that driver sideswiped a car near Perkins Street, then another vehicle on Route 8 in Macedonia. The journey ended on I-271 in Bedford Heights, when the driver lost control and drove the vehicle into the snow.

33 year-old Jesse Benovic of Cleveland was caught after a brief foot chase, and now faces charges of willful fleeing and criminal damaging.

A female passenger in the car wasn't arrested.

Thursday, 26 February 2015 13:37

APD Looking For Fugitive After Domestic Dispute

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Akron police are looking for a man who fled from a domestic incident, who rammed a police cruiser during his escape.

Police say 24 year-old Lavonte Lee Dukes showed up at his girlfriend's apartment on South Walnut Street early this/Thursday morning, kicked in a door and waved a gun around.

They say he threatened a male in the apartment, who fled. He then tried to take the couple's baby daughter, and put the gun into his girlfriend's mouth when she tried to stop him.

He fled, but not before police say he drove his minivan at officers who walked up and tried to stop him...police say he then rammed the police cruiser before fleeing on West Market Street.

Lavonte Lee Dukes is described as being 6' 4" and 200 pounds, and is considered armed and dangerous.

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(Akron Police Department, news release) Officers need the public's help in locating a wanted fugitive from a domestic incident that occurred earlier this morning on South Walnut Street in Akron. The wanted fugitive is Lavonte Lee Dukes, 24, of West Miller Street in Akron. Dukes is wanted for felonious assault on a peace officer, aggravated burglary, domestic violence, felonious assault, endangering children and aggravated menacing.

Shortly after midnight last night, Dukes went over to his girlfriend's apartment and kicked in the east side, rear door. Dukes then walked into the apartment waving a gun around. Dukes threatened another male with the gun and demanded that he leave the apartment. The male fled on foot. Dukes then entered a bedroom, where their daughter was sleeping and attempted to take the baby. The girlfriend tried to stop him. Dukes then put the gun into his girlfriend's mouth and threatening to kill her. The girlfriend called 9-1-1. Dukes then fled the apartment.

When responding officers arrived, Dukes was backing out of the driveway in a dark colored minivan. The officers approached the minivan on foot and told Dukes to stop. Dukes accelerated and drove the minivan towards the officers. The officers had to jump out of the way to avoid from being run over. Dukes then rammed the police cruiser before fleeing east bound on West Market Street. Officers were unable to pursue Dukes because of the damage to the cruiser.

Lavonte Lee Dukes, is 6'04" and 200 lbs. He should be considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information on Lavonte Lee Dukes' whereabouts is asked to contact the Akron Police Department Detective Bureau at (330) 375-2490; the U.S. Marshals Service at 1-866-4 WANTED; or the Summit County Crimestoppers Inc. at 330–434–COPS. You can also text TIPSCO with your tips to 274637 (Crimes). Callers can remain anonymous.

Thursday, 26 February 2015 10:35

Sykes: "It's A Win For Us"

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The efforts of Akron City Council members and local leaders to change the language in an amendment in the state's transportation budget bill has paid off.

State Representative Emilia Sykes says the language in the legislation that would ban cities from requiring contractors to hire a certain number of local residents for projects will be removed.

"So, ultimately it's a win for us at this moment. We were able to get the language out and we can resume as we were going to proceed," said Sykes.

Akron City Council members traveled to Columbus to testify against the bill at an Ohio House Finance Committee hearing Wednesday morning.

"We're not out of the clear yet, but we jumped over the first hurdle. It was a major hurdle. We had a very strong showing and I'm very excited for us. I'm excited for the city of Akron. I'm excited to keep fighting for them."

The city of Akron is moving forward with the goal of hiring Akron residents to do at least 30 percent of the work in the city's Combined Sewer Overflow project.

Thursday, 26 February 2015 08:06

Akron Galapagos Tortoise Dies

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Azul was no stranger to the Akron Zoo; she'd been a resident since first arriving in 1992, just three years old after being born in Texas. Azul was a giant Galapagos tortoise, one of the largest of her kind weighting 165 pounts. Akron Zoo officials say zookeepers noticed a change in the animal's behavior and a CT scan showed a buildup of fluid around her heart but an autopsy shortly after Azul passed away a week ago showed her liver, heart and reproductive tract were also diseased. 

- - -

(Akron Zoo) It is with great sadness that the Akron Zoo announces the passing of a female Galapagos tortoise, Azul. Azul passed away on Thursday, February 19, 2015. Azul was born at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Texas on June 23, 1989. She arrived at the Akron Zoo on October 26, 1992.

Last week Animal Care Staff noticed a change in Azul's behavior. The zoo's veterinarian performed a CT scan and ultrasound on Azul. Tests showed she had a larger than normal amount of fluid around her heart. The zoo's vet was able to remove the fluid and Azul was being treated with antibiotics. Her heart was also being monitored daily. While her condition showed signs of improvement as the week progressed, she unfortunately passed away.

A detailed necropsy was performed following her passing and revealed that her reproductive tract, liver and heart were diseased. Additional test results are pending. Azul weighed 165 pounds and was 32 inches long and her shell was 16 inches tall. Azul's half-sister, Pagos, the Akron Zoo's other Galapagos tortoise, is on exhibit in Komodo Kingdom.

The Galapagos tortoise is the largest living tortoise in the world. They are indigenous Galapagos Islands, which are located in the eastern Pacific Ocean of the western coast of South America. Galapagos tortoises are herbivores and they feed on a variety of grasses, leaves, cactus, vines and fruit. They obtain most of their moisture through their diet and can go for long periods without drinking.

A retired Fairlawn police sergeant is in trouble with the law for attempted drug theft.

Fairlawn police tell NewsChannel 5 that 57 year-old Robert Buza went to City Hall on Sunday, and sorted through a drop-off box of discarded medication.

Police say a current sergeant recognized Buza near the main entrance and asked him to leave, asking him to return the medications he removed from the box.

Buza turned himself in. Court records say he faces safecracking, breaking and entering, and attempted drug theft charges.

Police say Buza still had a key to get into the drug drop-off box, a key they didn't know he had. He retired from the Fairlawn force in 2013.

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On the Web: WEWS NewsChannel 5, www.newsnet5.com

 

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Wednesday, 25 February 2015 17:28

UPDATE DeWine Rejects Second Proposed Marijuana Initiative

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Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has rejected another proposal to amend the state's constitition to allow legal marijuana.

This time, DeWine's office rejected petitions of the proposed End Ohio Cannabis Prohibition Act because they didn't have the required 1,000 signatures to go forward.

The Attorney General says there were only 883 valid signatures, according to local elections boards.

DeWine earlier this week rejected another marijuana legalization initiative because he says the ballot summary was not accurate.

Newly proposed initiatives require both 1,000 signatures and valid summary language before they can go to the next step, and collect enough signatures to get on the ballot.

Dewine says he will process the initiatives for voters if both conditions are met, but he's not in favor of legalization personally

He says he's talked to officials in Colorado who tell him that pot legalization has become a "disaster"...saying that a lot of the marketing in Colorado is aimed at kids, with products resembling candy bars.

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