Three Akron natives had their dreams come true at the 2015 NFL Draft over the weekend.

First to hear his name called was Ohio State wide receiver Devin Smith. Smith was selected in the second round (No. 37 overall) by the New York Jets. Smith attended Ellet High School before transferring to Massillon.

On the final day of the draft Saturday, Doran Grant, cornerback from Ohio State and St. Vincent St. Mary, was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in fourth round (No. 121 overall)

Shaquille Riddick, who played for Buchtel High School and transfered from Gardner-Webb to West Virginia, was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the fifth round (No. 158 overall).

It’s reportedly the first time in 40 years that three players born in Akron were drafted in the same year, according to researchers at the Elias Sports Bureau and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The last time three Akron players were drafted was in 1975 when cornerback Dave Brown, running back Larry Poole and defensive end Jeff Merrow were selected.

Saturday, 02 May 2015 15:22

Fatal Motorcycle Crash In Clinton

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A Canton Fire Department Division Chief died Friday evening in a fatal crash on North Lawrence Road in Clinton.

54 year old Kerry Ball of Canal Fulton was travelling in his motorcycle around 6:50 in the evening when he drove off the right side of the road and hit a guardrail.

Ball sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Alcohol was not a factor in the crash and Ball was not wearing a helmet.  The crash remains under investigation by the Ohio State Highway Patrol Canton post.

The body of former Revere High School graduate Allison Willen, who went missing after hiking with friends in New Zealand, has been recovered, according to New Zealand media.

Willen's body was reportedly found in a river on Saturday afternoon, where clothes and a backpack was found one week earlier, police said. Willen graduated from Revere High School in 2012. was attending Eckerd College in Tampa, Fla., where she was pursuing a degree in human development.

An Akron woman studying in New Zealand is presumed dead after a storm in a New Zealand national park.

Northeast Ohio Media Group reports that Ally Willen was on a four-day hike in the Mt. Aspiring National Park when she was separated from two roommates. She has been a student at Florida's Eckerd College studying abroad.

A New Zealand newspaper reports that authorities there say a strong storm caused a river to rise, which could have swept Willen away.

Her clothing and a backpack was found near the river. The roommates were found unharmed.

The search for Willen's body resumed this afternoon, or Saturday morning New Zealand time.

Friday, 01 May 2015 16:54

Akron Attorney To Lead State Bar Association

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An Akron attorney will lead the Ohio State Bar Association.

The organization says Ronald S. Kopp was elected as their president-elect on Friday. He'll take office as president of the OSBA in July.

Kopp has been with Akron's Roetzel & Andress since 1979, and is the local firm's administrative partner. He is a past president of the Akron Bar Association, and was also past counsel for the Akron Beacon Journal.


(Ohio State Bar Assocatiion, news release) Akron attorney Ronald S. Kopp today was elected to become the Ohio State Bar Association's (OSBA) president-elect at the OSBA's Annual Convention in Sandusky. Kopp will take office as OSBA president on July 1, 2016.

Kopp has practiced in the area of business litigation since joining Roetzel & Andress in 1979. He is the firm's administrative partner. He currently serves on the OSBA Board of Governors, and is chair of the Board's Budget & Headquarters Committee.

Consistently included in the Top 100 Attorneys in Ohio (Cincinnati Magazine) and named in "The Best Lawyers in America," Kopp has an AV® Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory. He earned his bachelor's degree from Miami University in 1976, and his law degree from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 1979. He is a past president of the Akron Bar Association (1997), and a past governor of the Akron Bar Foundation. He has also served as an adjunct professor for the University of Akron College of Law.

A 1987 Leadership Akron graduate, Kopp has served on the Leadership Akron Board of Trustees since 2006, and currently is its chair. He serves as secretary both of the John S. Knight Memorial Journalism Fund and the Welty Family Foundation. Kopp is a past president of Fairlawn Country Club. 

The Ohio State Bar Association, founded in 1880, is a voluntary association representing approximately 23,000 members of the bench and bar of Ohio as well as nearly 4,000 legal assistants and law students. Through its activities and the activities of its related organizations, the OSBA serves both its members and the public by promoting the highest standards in the practice of law and the administration of justice.

An Akron police board that reviews any officer-involved shooting in the city is expanding.

Akron police chief James Nice has revised the makeup of the Firearms Review Board, expanding it from three to five members.

Until now, three deputy police chiefs were on the board. The new makeup includes an assistant to the mayor for police matters, a law department police legal advisors, a deputy police chief, a lieutenant in the Office of Professional Standards and Accountability, and a training bureau commander.

Chief Nice says the job of the review board is provide recommendations to him before he takes action after officer-involved shootings.

"When I make a recommendation on a shooting, I want to know the truth, I want to know what happened," Chief Nice tells "I want the people involved to have a stake."

Chief Nice says he wants a body that will tell him what happened right or wrong, and says he's not putting the panel together for public appearance.

Chief Nice says the system to review police shootings was "antiquated". He says the new system is the "industry standard" in respect to firearms review boards.

Friday, 01 May 2015 12:29

Akron Robbery Suspect Caught

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A bank security guard was able track down a man who police say robbed the First Merit Bank on South Main Street yesterday afternoon.

Akron police said a man walked into the bank and demanded money. A teller handed the suspect some cash, but reportedly didn't get far after leaving.

The bank security guard caught up to William Jason Wasley, 37, of Akron, before police arrived, according to Lt. Rick Edwards.

He was charged with robbery and booked into the Summit County Jail.

University of Akron President Scott Scarborough appears to be mulling over the idea of changing the name of the school.

The Beacon Journal reports that he'll address the issue at a speech at the City Club of Cleveland on May 15.

No one would confirm the details of the speech, but there's been talk of plans to change the name to reflect the university's strengths in the "polytechnical and professional fields."

There's a petition on to stop the name change from moving forward. More than 4,100 people have signed the petition as of 8:45 a.m.

The petition states that the president's plan is to change the name to "Ohio Polytech Institute" -- although that has not been confirmed.

More on the web:



Three teenagers charged with a severely injuring a Stark County teacher on a Pennsylvania highway will be tried as adults.

That's the word Thursday from a Pennsylvania judge.

The teens are accused of dropping a 5 pound rock onto Sharon Budd's car from a Pennsylvania overpass.

Budd was at the hearing, driving from Uniontown with her husband Randy to be there.

She talked to Pennsylvania reporters before the hearing started...saying she was nervous about seeing the teens accused of injuring her.

WNEP-TV in Pennsylvania reports that the judge in the case said "certain acts are so severe that even juveniles can be charged as adults. This is one of them."

The judge also said that "If it wasn't for the miracles of modern medicine these defendants would probably be facing homicide charges."


On the Web: WNEP-TV,

Thursday, 30 April 2015 16:42

Norton Man Busted On Fed Sex Charges

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The federal government is charging a Norton man with sex crimes involving young children, including one as young as nine years old. Corey Bryant, 25, was arrested on charges he engaged in "illicit sexual conduct" with minors while working at a Honduran homeless agency dating back to 2011. Agents from the U.S Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) unit, police in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and the Norton Police Department assisted in the probe. Among the evidence taken by police executing a search warrant at Bryant's home were computer thumb drives, cell phones and a laptop computer.

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(U.S. Justice Department) A Summit County man who worked at a homeless shelter for youths in Honduras was arrested and charged in federal court with engaging in sex with minor victims.

Corey Bryant, 25, of Norton, was arrested Wednesday afternoon following a search of his residence. Bryant charged in U.S. District Court with travelling to a foreign country to engage in illicit sexual conduct with minors. 

Bryant, while working at a Honduran homeless agency as far back as 2011, engaged in sexual conduct with three minor victims -- including one as young as 9 years old, according to the criminal complaint.

Bryant was initially ordered held without bond and was ordered to appear at a subsequent bond hearing on May 4, 2015.

During the search of his residence, HSI special agents seized two thumb drives, two cell phones and a laptop computer. The devices will undergo computer forensic examination. The federal charges are the product of an ongoing probe initiated after an anonymous tip was received December 2014 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Tip Line website.The investigation is being handled by ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). HSI Transnational Criminal Investigative Unit, HSI Tegucigalpa, and the Norton Police Department assisted in the investigation.

The federal prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael A. Sullivan. A charges is only charge an allegation 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.

This investigation was conducted under HSI's Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 10,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2014, more than 2,300 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1000 victims identified or rescued.

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