You might remember that body cam video of Canton police playing basketball in the neighborhood. There's a lot more involved.

Canton police's "Community Interaction Team" does a lot more than playing hoops.

The eight-officer team is lead by Lt. John Gabbard. He says that "CIT" uses a simple concept...see the neighborhood like they lived there.

"Look around the neighborhood and if you lived here, what solutions would you come up with," Lt. Gabbard tells WAKR's Jasen Sokol. "How would you make this neighborhood acceptable for you to live here"

Lt. Gabbard says it's not just about talking to people in the neighborhood about police issues.

"We do that by going door to door in those neighborhoods," Lt. Gabbard says. "We speak to people about not only law enforcement issued but about quality of life issues."

He says the main goal is improving that quality of life, and changing perception of police officers in the community.

Monday, 30 March 2015 17:45

Akron Man Stabbed Over Salsa

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An Akron man was stabbed by his girlfriend Sunday afternoon because she said he was hogging the salsa.

61 year-old Ronnie Buckner of Lake Street was eating chips and salsa with his girlfriend 50 year-old Phyllis Jefferson. The couple got into an argument over who was eating all of the salsa. Police say Jefferson stabbed Buckner in the pelvic area with a pen, then went into the kitchen, grabbed a knife, and proceeded to cut him in the stomach. She fled the scene in a car before police showed up.

Police found Jefferson later on I-77 just south of 224. She has been charged with felonious assault and criminal damaging and booked into the Summit County Jail.

Buckner was taken to Akron General Medical Center with non life threatening injures.

Monday, 30 March 2015 10:48

White Castle Sliders Coming To Canal Park

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Northeast Ohioans had to say goodbye to several White Castle restaurants last year, but they're making a comeback -- at Canal Park.

The Akron Rubberducks announced a new partnership with the fast-food chain that will allow the park to sell the original sliders. It's part of their new Extreme Menu items that the team will be unveiling tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon.


(AKRON RubberDucks) – The Akron RubberDucks announced today a partnership with White Castle featuring Canal Park to sell the Original Sliders, beginning on April 7 when the RubberDucks play the Lake County Captains in an exhibition game starting at 5:05 p.m.

Family-owned, Columbus-based White Castle, offers hamburgers and cheeseburgers in retail locations around the country. Canal Park will be selling hot White Castle cheeseburgers at The Dog Pound concession stand. On the D.G. Yuengling Brewery-sponsored "Thirsty Thursdays," the sliders will be available via in-seat vending. Two cheeseburger sliders will sell for $4.

"White Castle is known for its legendary distinctive taste around the country, and now steamy hot sliders are available at the ballpark" said Jamie Richardson, White Castle Vice President. "Sliders are a natural with baseball!"

"They have been a staple in this area for a long time," said RubberDucks General Manager Jim Pfander. "We are excited to team up with White Castle to bring them back!"

The White Castle cheeseburger sliders will be part of the previously-announced a special Media Tasting, which will include the new Extreme Menu items for 2015, at Canal Park on Tuesday, March 31 at 2 p.m. Also at the tasting, the RubberDucks will be introducing its new craft-beer logo and menu for the new craft-beer window, which will be located on the concourse behind home plate. This will provide a great pairing for watching a ball game!

A proposal will be introduced to Akron City Council this evening to add tougher animal cruelty penalties for those who do not provide adequate shelter for pets. Akron police Sgt. Kris Beitzel will be presenting the legislation with representatives of the Humane Society of Greater Akron.

Beitzel said part of the legislation is focused on adding strict penalties for neglect -- including improper tethering or tying an animal outside in tough weather conditions.

She said the legislation will define the term "shelter " -- and what it means to provide adequate outdoor shelter for animals.

Beitzel said the legislation would change the original penalty for animal abuse from a second-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree misdemeanor.

The ordinance is similar to the one approved by Cleveland City Council last year.

Saturday, 28 March 2015 16:02

Baker Blvd. Celebrates Final Day In Akron

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Baker Blvd. officially closed its storefront Saturday afternoon, ending two successful years in Akron.

Customers piled in for the shop's final day, getting their last treat before the business moves to North Carolina and begins selling online.

The enthusiastic crowd, as well as family members of co-owner LaKisha Williams, made the busy day more enjoyable.

"It's amazing in here," Williams said.

"The entire community has come out to support us."

Baker Blvd crowdBaker Blvd. 

Williams shared with WAKR that a young boy and his family had traveled from more than an hour away for Baker Blvd's Cherry Cola cupcake. They had already sold out, but Williams said she would try to whip up one more.

This is just one example of what customers like Tammy Jackson say kept her coming back to Baker Blvd.

"The family atmosphere," said Jackson as she waited in line with daughter Tameka.

"And the cupcakes of course."


Saturday, 28 March 2015 07:45

Schismenos Video Linked Case Dropped

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An Akron man won't be prosecuted in a case involving a video taken by former Akron police officer Donald Schimenos.

The Beacon Journal reports that 45 year-old Edward Williams got a new trial order from Common Pleas Judge Thomas Teodosio in a short hearing Friday morning.

Hours later, the Summit County Prosecutor's Office said it was dropping the case, citing questions of credibility surrounding the former officer.

The video from 1996 hadn't been available, or seen by Williams, until a Beacon Journal investigation prompted the city to release a number of the former officer's videos.

Prosecutors say going after a new trial against Williams would have been "challenging" to pursue. The newspaper reports it shows no evidence Williams ever struck or hit a police officer.


On the Web: Akron Beacon Journal,

Saturday, 28 March 2015 07:25

Kent State Loses A Heartbreaker In Tournament

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The Kent State Golden Flashes men's basketball team is out of the post season, but barely... Northern Arizona pulled it out with 14 seconds left in overtime, 74-73, in the tournament.

The final play - a layup by Northern Arizona's Quinton Upshur. Before that, the Golden Flashes came back from a 10 point deficit near the end of regulation play to tie it up and force overtime.

Just 40 seconds away from the end of overtime, the Golden Flashes led by five, but ended up a point behind at the end.

Kent State ended up with 23 wins on the year, sixth highest in the 99 year history of men's basketball at Kent State.

The game was played at Flagstaff, Arizona's Walkup Skydome.

Saturday, 28 March 2015 07:14

Ravenna Police Seek Bank Robber

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Ravenna police are looking for someone who robbed the Huntington Bank on West Cedar Street on Friday afternoon.

They say it happened at just before 5 PM. The suspect was seen leaving the bank on foot westbound towards Meridian Street.

Ravenna police describe the robber as a black male 20-25 years of age, blue hoodie with black skull cap, having a narrow face with a mustache and chin hair.

A surveillance video capture can be seen here.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Ravenna Police Department at 330-296-6486.

Friday, 27 March 2015 15:46

Wadsworth Police Capture Speedway Robber

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The man who robbed a Speedway gas station in Wadsworth on Tuesday has been captured.

Wadsworth Police were able to track down 35 year-old Jarrod Kallis at his apartment on Greenwich Road in Westfield Center thanks to information taken from surveillance video.


Surveillance photo from Speedway gas station


Police say Kallis robbed the gas station on Akron Road armed with a rifle just before 9:00 Tuesday night.

He has been charged with aggravated robbery and was booked in the Medina County Jail.

Friday, 27 March 2015 12:56

Baker Blvd. Closing Shop, Expanding Business

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Baker Blvd. is just too busy after gaining national attention when LeBron James sent the bakery's cupcakes to his neighbors last year. That's why they're closing their doors in Fairlawn.

"Unfortunately, our little four walls can't contain us any longer," said co-owner LaKisha Williams. "We've got to move over to a co-packing way of distributing our cupcakes and sweet treats."

Williams said they decided to close the shop, but will keep selling the cupcakes online -- on a larger scale. The owners have decided to move to North Carolina to work with a co-packing company to help distribute the cupcakes.

"We have truly tried to stay in this location and possibly even expand, but for us, we think the time is right to allow the entire nation to order from us."

It'll take some time for the bakery to set-up the online business.

"Instead of our team making the cupcakes, a machine will basically make our cupcakes. It takes a little bit of time to master the recipes because you're making such a huge amount."

Baker Blvd. will be unveiling a "Finale" cupcake Saturday, March 28 between 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Saturday is the last day the shop will be open.

Williams said she hasn't spoken directly to LeBron James about the decision, but she says the LeBron James Family Foundation has been supportive.

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