Wednesday, 25 November 2015 17:21

Akron Man Sentenced For Beating And Kidnapping

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An Akron man will spend 13 years behind bars for kidnapping and beating a woman.

Prosecutors say 45 year-old John Lewis of Springdale St. had been in an on-again, off-again relationship with the woman for eight years. In August of 2014, Lewis drove the victim to his house where he beat her and dragged her into his house.

The woman tried to escape by jumping from the porch, but she broke her leg in the process. Lewis then carried her to the basement, where he left her for seven hours before calling for help.

A jury found Lewis guilty of multiple charges, including kidnapping, abduction, and domestic violence

Wednesday, 25 November 2015 16:39

Akron Taps New Deputy Service Director

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The City of Akron has a new Deputy Director of Public Service.

Chris Ludle, who has been the city's Highway Maintenance Superintendent, takes over next week for Phil Montgomery.

Montgomery was appointed the city of Akron's Chief Information Officer after Rick Schmahl took a state job.

Ludle has been in the city's Department of Public Service for 10 years, and spent 12 years at Rubbermaid.

(City of Akron, news release) Mayor Jeff Fusco announced Wednesday the appointment of Chris D. Ludle as the City's new Deputy Director of Public Service, a position recently vacated by Phil Montgomery, who accepted an appointment as the City's Chief Information Officer.

Ludle, who currently serves as the City's Highway Maintenance Superintendent, brings a decade of experience with the Department of Public Service to the position.

Additionally, Ludle's twelve years of experience in the private sector at Rubbermaid will bring a valuable and needed perspective to the service operations that are most important to Akron residents.

"Chris takes a comprehensive, hands-on approach to his work that I greatly admire,"

Mayor Jeff Fusco remarked. "As someone who held the position of Deputy Director of Public Service for 10 years, I know exactly what it takes to do the job. What I see in Chris is the right combination of experience and insight necessary to hit the ground running and shoulder the significant responsibilities of the position."

"Chris's first-hand experience supervising aspects of the CSO project, as well as his substantial management and organizational experience will be an asset to the Director of Public Service's Office and the City," Mayor Fusco added.

Ludle is a lifelong Akron resident, a volunteer Athletic Director and Treasurer at St. Anthony's parish, and a member of the board of the North Akron Baseball Association. Ludle will start December 1, and his salary will be $106,454 per year, the same as the previous Deputy Director of Public Service.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015 10:43

Akron Murder Suspects Sought

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Akron police say they've now solved two of last week's three homicides but the latest  announcement does not come with arrests. That's where police, along with the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force, are hoping you can help.

Daymond Hooks, 29, and Phillip Key, 32, are wanted in the shooting death of a man outside Centerfold Night Club on East Archwood Avenue. The body of Jerry Stallings, 32, was found outside with a bullet wound to the chest.

Police say Hooks left the bar after getting into a fight with Stallings, then returned and killed him.

Hooks, whose last known address was on 4th Avenue in Akron, is wanted for murder and felonious assault.  Key's warrant is for complicity to commit murder. He last lived on Sparhawk Avenue in Akron.

An Akron man is facing a list of charges after police say he was driving drunk -- nearly four times the legal limit -- and crashed into a tree at Tallmadge Circle Wednesday morning. Tallmadge police said Andrew C. Craig, 26, of Akron, has been charged with aggravated vehicular assault and OVI. Both Craig and the passenger were ejected from the car and seriously injured.

Craig's initial BAC registered .302. Police said evidence at the scene and Craig's statement places him behind the wheel.

The Summit Metro Regional Crash Team is assisting with the investigation.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015 15:50

Browns Bounce Johnny To Third String

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Johnny Manziel will not only no longer be the Cleveland Browns starting quarterback on Monday Night - he's been bounced to third string.

That announcement was made Tuesday in a statement from Browns head coach Mike Pettine.

Pettine says Josh McCown will be the starting quarterback "going forward".

The move comes after video footage surfaced of Manziel partying and drinking in Austin, Texas, reportedly over last weekend.


(Cleveland Browns, Coach Mike Pettine statement) "Josh McCown will be the starting quarterback on Monday night against the Ravens. I informed the quarterbacks of that decision after I sat down and spoke with Johnny, Flip (John DeFilippo) and Kevin (O'Connell) after practice today. Johnny will be the third quarterback. I've spoken to Ray (Farmer) and Jimmy (Haslam) to inform them of my decision, and they are in full support.

"Everyone in this organization wants what is best for Johnny just like we do for every player in our locker room. I'm especially disappointed in his actions and behavior because he has been working very hard. The improvements from last year to this year have been tremendous but he still has to consistently demonstrate that he has gained a good understanding of what it takes to be successful at the quarterback position on this level. It goes well beyond the field. We are going to continue to support him in every way possible, but at this point, we've decided it's best to go with Josh as the starter going forward."

Tuesday, 24 November 2015 10:57

Murderer Gets Life

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It looks like a Stow man will die behind bars for killing his pregnant wife 30 years ago. 

Scott Purk, 53, is eligible for parole in 18 years - otherwise, it's life behind bars. Add to that another three years for tampering with evidence and none of it starts until he finishes what's left of a 28-year stint for torching a couple of houses.

Purk was found guilty by a jury last week. He strangled Margaret Purk, who was nine months pregnant, then tried to make it look like suicide.  It worked until new evidence popped up 24 years later.

“Justice has no time limit," said Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh in a written statement. "For 30 years, Scott Purk lived his life claiming his pregnant wife committed suicide. Margaret Purk’s family can now rest easy knowing Scott Purk will pay for killing her. I would like to thank Stow Police Officer Ken Mifflin for his dedication and devotion to holding Margaret’s killer accountable. Officer Mifflin’s work allowed justice to prevail for Margaret and her unborn son.”

Walsh says Purk couldn't be charged with murdering the unborn child because that wasn't considered a crime in 1985.

Monday, 23 November 2015 16:22

Burglars Damage Business Near Plane Crash Site

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A Mogadore Road business that was in the spotlight for being near the site of the jet plane crash earlier this month is now dealing with damage to its own building.

Akron police say J. Bowers Construction was found damaged early Saturday, by a front loader police say someone stole from a company on Darrow Road. The burglars stole a safe after damaging J. Bowers.

Police say it started after a pickup truck was stolen from a car repair business, and that the burglars used that pickup to steal two front loader truck keys and some torches from the second business.

After the first front loader was wrecked, police say burglars took the second one, and used the front loader's bucket to damage the J. Bowers building, and steal the safe inside.

Police say they found the pickup truck, torches and the empty safe off Mogadore Road, and railroad tracks nearby were damaged. The first front loader was found with damage as well.

A surveillance camera at J. Bowers had captured the jet plane crash nearby earlier this month. The video is being examined by NTSB investigators.

Monday, 23 November 2015 12:42

Black Friday Or Black November?

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The term Black Friday is outdated.

According to a University of Akron marketing professor, the day that was traditionally a must-shop blitz through malls, big box and other retailers has evolved. It's still big but other forces are competing to make Black Friday less significant.

Dr. Deborah Owens says so many of the Black Friday deals are actually available days or weeks ahead or after the famed day set aside for shopping extravaganzas. Between those deals and the ever-increasing practice of online shopping, some people really don't need to wait to venture out, regardless of what's open on Thanksgiving.

"About 30% of consumers are now shopping beginning in September and by the beginning of November, 67% have already started their Christmas shopping," said Owens.

Owens agrees that the onslaught of ads seems to have arrived earlier and in greater frequency than usual. There's a reason for it, says the marketing professor: marketing.

"They realize you may have thrown it away today but we're going to send you another one two days from now, maybe the same one, and you might be at a point where you're willing to receive it," said Owens. "Marketers understand people's really busy lives, they try to communicate with you however they can."

Does all of this mean that Owens thinks Black Friday is a waste of time?  Hardly. She's just saying that it all depends on the gratification that each shopper is trying to achieve. Maybe the bargains aren't any different than they'll be the next week but if a person wants to shop all night for the experience, then it's worthwhile. Of course, there are some bargains that you will not find outside of shopping at certain places at certain times.

Speaking of shopping experiences, Owens says gifts that offer an experience rather than an object (think winery rather than jacket) are usually better gifts because people enjoy the anticipation of the activity and they like to share it through social media.

It's been nearly two weeks since the deadly plane crash into an Akron apartment building, but reality is just now setting in for some of the families affected by the damage left behind.

"When they went to walk into the building to try and get what they can, they're being hit by the image again of what happened," said Pam Williams, a disaster volunteer with the Red Cross.

Nearly a dozen families were affected by the plane crash after a four-unit apartment building was heavily damaged when a small plane crashed, killing all nine people on board. 

While some families lost everything they had, others were able to retrieve some of their belongings.

"So as they drive down the street, as they go back and get things out, it's all raw again," said Williams. "So they're starting to want to talk about that."

Williams said several families have already reached out for help. The Red Cross will continue to offer services for the families, including mental health services for those who are still working to cope with the image of the crash. 

Previous Coverage: 

Medical Examiner IDs All Akron Plane Crash Victims

NTSB: Engines Removed In Akron Plane Crash

Red Cross Assisting Families Affected By Plane Crash

UPDATE No Survivors In Akron Plane Crash

Monday, 23 November 2015 11:53

Stark County Heroin Deaths Rise

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For every life that was lost to heroin in Stark County this year, a cross has been placed in front of the county's sheriff's department.

Stark County Sheriff's deputies are hoping the image raises awareness and encourages others to speak up after the number of deaths in the area has significantly increased.

"It's a community problem and we need to address it as a community," said Major C.J. Stantz with the Stark County Sheriff's Office.

So far this year, 34 people have died from a heroin overdose -- an increase from 23 deaths reported during the same period last year.

Officials have placed a message board outside the Stark County Sheriff's Office with an anonymous tip line to help prevent another fatal overdose from happening.

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