Monday, 24 November 2014 18:14

Medina Fatal Crash Driver Indicted

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The driver in a Montville Township crash in August which killed a 16 year-old Bath Township resident now faces a long list of charges.

The Medina County Grand Jury issued an indictment for the arrest of 26 year-old Jeremy Goodrich of Rittman on counts including aggravated vehicular homicide, aggravated vehicular assault and drug possession - of meth, heroin and fentanyl.

Montvillle Police and Rittman Police arrested Goodrich at home without incident, and he's currently in the Medina County Jail.

Goodrich was the driver of an S-U-V that police say went left of center on River Styx Road and struck the car driven by 16 year-old Katherine Babak.

Goodrich and two passengers in Babak's car were lifeflighted to MetroHealth Medical Center the night of the crash.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE:

8/4/14: UPDATE Bath Township Teen Driver Dies In Montville Crash

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(Montville Police Department, news release) After a three month investigation the Montville Police Department presented this case to the Medina County Grand Jury on Tuesday November 18th, 2014. As a result of the Grand Jury review, an indictment was issued (today) for the arrest of Jeremy Goodrich. Shortly after the receipt of the indictment the Montville Police Department, with assistance from the Rittman Police Department, located Mr. Goodrich at his home. Mr. Goodrich was taken into custody without incident. Mr. Goodrich is currently being house in the Medina County Jail on the following charges:

- 1 count of "Aggravated Vehicular Homicide" a Felony of the 2nd Degree

- 2 Counts of "Aggravated Vehicular Assault" both Felonies of the 3rd Degree

- 3 Counts of Drug Possession :

o Possession of Methamphetamine

o Possession of Heroin

o Possession of Fentanyl

 

 

Monday, 24 November 2014 16:39

Summit Council Race To Be Recounted

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There'll be a recount in a very close race in the November elections.

The Summit County Board of Elections will recount votes in the Summit County Council at Large race. In final, unofficial returns, just over 350 votes separated two incumbents, Sandra Kurt and Bill Roemer, for the last of three council seats up for election.

The Board of Elections will also recount votes for fifth place finisher Debbie Walsh and sixth place finisher Gary Hagen.

The recount will take place on December 2nd.

A local option race in Springfield Township, Issue 59, will also be recounted.

Monday was a windy day in Northeast Ohio, with a high wind warning and numerous power outages.

Tens of thousands of Ohio Edison customers went without power in much of the area, with many small, scattered outages taking out power to thousands in all area counties.

North Hill saw some larger outages that meant traffic lights were out on much of Tallmadge Avenue.

Bath police lost phone lines and 911 lines and asked emergency calls be directed to the Fairlawn Police Department.

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(Previous coverage) The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning throughout Northern Ohio until 10 PM.

High winds can cause power outages, and there are scattered, widespread outages around the area this afternoon. Tens of thousands of Ohio Edison customers are without power in Northeast Ohio.

At this hour, FirstEnergy says over 6,200 people are without power in Summit County.

Many of the outages have in the North Hill area of Akron...the Summit County offices on Tallmadge Avenue - home of the Job Center, the Title Bureau and other offices - were in the dark and without phone service for a while, but the county says that's all back up again. Richfield has also had its share of outages.

Bath Police say their phone lines and 911 lines are out, and ask emergency callers to call the Fairlawn Police Department at at 330-666-8871.

We're getting a lot of reports of traffic lights out - along Tallmadge Avenue, Home Avenue and Brittain Road, and at Portage Trail West at Northampton Road. They always remind you - treat any traffic light outage as a four way stop.

(Numbers as of 3:00 p.m.)

Cuyahoga - 14,842

Medina - 1,461

Portage - 1,514

Stark - 320

Summit - 6,211

Wayne - 128

For an updated list of power outages, click here.

Monday, 24 November 2014 11:34

AUDIO Black Friday Already Started

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Holiday shoppers will crowd stores on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday but a marketing professor at The University of Akron doesn't expect to see as many crowds as usual.  It's not that Dr. Deborah Owens predicts fewer shoppers overall or less spending.  Owens says holiday shopping trends are continuing to evolve. 

"Consumers have recognized that Black Friday deals really weren't the deals that they said they were," said Owen.  "Research has showns that many of those deals were available the week before and the week after and maybe it was more hype than reality."

Owens says the growth of online shopping and social media have placed more power into the hands of shoppers and away from retailers.

Owens says the Monday of Thanksgiving week - today - is actually one of the best days to snag bargains online or in person.

 

It's all about charity and cheer at this year's Holiday Tree Festival, running through November 30.

For the past 33 years, the Holiday Tree Festival has decked the halls of the John S. Knight Center in downtown Akron with trees, Santa, and other family-friendly attractions.

This free festival features themed Christmas trees, wreaths, and other holiday items available for purchase.

All proceeds from the festival benefit Akron Children's Hospital.

Video: Jeff Looker, WAKR

The trees and wreaths are themed and can be sponsored by businesses or individuals. One tree in particular, called the "Cap and Bootie" tree, has pictures of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) patients and also caps and booties, where visitors can donate to this part of the hospital.

Volunteer Nancy Holland has been standing by the Cap and Bootie tree for over 10 years. Her granddaughter was a patient in the NICU unit, and her picture remains on the tree. Holland's granddaughter is now in her 20's and healthy. Holland loves speaking with the people who come to visit the tree, especially the "graduates."

Holland explains, "these are the parents who have had their children in the NICU, and they look for their pictures on the tree."

 

Caps and Bootie tree featuring babies from the NICU...Liz Miller, WAKR

 

There is also entertainment each day of the festival, which is even open on Thanksgiving. Lori Baker, head of publicity for the festival, has a message for all of the Scrooges still on the fence about attending the Holiday Tree Festival.

"It's a wonderful event, a wonderful cause, and you can see some beautiful trees. You can take home a beautiful wreath, or tree, or tabletop creation."

The Holiday Tree Festival runs Monday through Wednesday 11 a.m. - 8 p.m., Thanksgiving Day 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday, 22 November 2014 17:23

Akron Honors Winebrenner At Funeral

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The floor filled up fast at James A. Rhodes Arena as family, friends, and police officers from across the state gathered to honor officer Justin Winebrenner.

Gary White, a soon-to-be graduate of the Kent State Police Academy, participated in Saturday's service by passing out blue ribbons for attendees to wear. "It reminds us all of the highest paid price that we may all pay one day.", he said.

The funeral service began at 10 a.m. with eulogies from prominent figures in Akron, including Akron Police Chief James Nice, who spoke of Winebrenner's relationship with the police department as a whole.

"He loved the work, he loved the shift. He loved the officers that he worked with," says Nice."They loved him as well. It was a good fit."

Congressman Tim Ryan brought a flag with with him that was flown over the Capitol as well as a letter from President Obama.

"Our nation is grateful for the dedication, pride, and service of the first responders who risk their lives to ensure the safety of our citizens and our neighborhoods," reads Congressman Ryan from the letter.

Mayor Don Plusquellic was also in attendance, speaking out about the reality this tragedy has brought about.

"It's always somewhere else. When we see TV, pictures it's always somebody else, and then it hits home, and it's one of our own", says Plusquellic. "There's nothing like that."

Retired Barberton Judge Greg Macko, who knew both Winebrenner and his father Rob, talked about what lies ahead as the grieving period continues.

"It isn't going to be easy, and I challenge all of us in the law enforcement community to remember that need for that love and support does not end when we walk away from that grave site. It's just beginning."

At the conclusion of the service, police officers lined the front of the arena, and then took part in a procession to Holy Cross Cemetery.

On the way to Holy Cross, the procession stopped in front of the Akron Police Department, where officers and others lined the streets. Community members held signs honoring Winebrenner and his heroic actions.

Click here for more photos from the funeral service and procession.

Saturday, 22 November 2014 13:36

PHOTOS: Honoring Fallen Akron Police Officer

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Law enforcement officials, family and friends came together Saturday for the funeral service held for slain Akron Police Officer Justin Winebrenner. 

NOTE: If you're unable to view the photos on your mobile device, click here.


Created with flickr slideshow.
Friday, 21 November 2014 17:31

Rubber City Race Series Registration Open

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A new series of races linked to the Akron Marathon are officially open for runner registration.

The 2015 Rubber City Race Series includes an 8k and 1-Mile race on June 27th, and a half marathon and 10k on August 15th.

The Akron Marathon itself will be held next year on September 26th.

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(Akron Marathon, news release) The Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation officially opened registration for the 2015 Rubber City Race Series, a new running series developed to guide runners through a typical training schedule. The series will feature two additional event dates, an 8k and 1-Mile on June 27 and a Half Marathon and 10k on August 15, in conjunction with the original marquee race, the Akron Marathon, Half Marathon, Team Relay, & Kids Fun Run on September 26.

About 90 percent of participants as of midday Friday have registered for a package to run in all three events of the Akron Marathon Rubber City Race Series (not sure if this is where you were trying to go with this sentence). The two new race dates are each limited to 3,000 participants while the marquee event, the Akron Marathon, expects to see record participation with over 15,000 runners.

"The addition of these new races as a part of the Akron Marathon Rubber City Race Series will not only allow our existing runners the ability to enjoy two new world-class events, the shorter distance races will hopefully attract new runners to the sport of running," said Akron Marathon President & Executive Director Anne Bitong. "We've been about runner experience from day one, and the chance to grow the sport we love is really exciting!"

The June races will conclude with the Thirsty Dog Blues & Brews Finisher Festival Experience. The 1-Mile run will be fast and flat, while the 8k will offer a unique distance for both new and seasoned runners.

The August Half marathon and 10k will feature views of iconic landmarks in East Akron, including the Derby Downs, Lockheed Martin's Air Dock, and more. Finishers can then enjoy Akron's Best Food Festival with offerings of Akron's most iconic foods.

September's main event will debut a new course, featuring North Hill, Hardesty Park, and other beautiful parts of the city of Akron. Runners can expect the same great runner amenities, highlighted by the Olympic-style finish at Canal Park Stadium and an unparalleled world-class race experience.

To learn more about the new race series or to register, visit RubberCityRaceSeries.org, which features information about each event in the series, course maps, and other details about the series.

The Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation was founded in 2002 to provide a world-class marathon and other events that promote health and fitness, stimulate the local economy, galvanize the community and benefit charitable organizations. The Akron Marathon, which consists of four events including the Full and Half Marathons, the five-person Team Relay and the Kids Fun Run, has grown by more than 10,000 participants since the inaugural event in 2003. New for 2015, September's marquee event will mark the culmination of the Rubber City Race Series. The series will feature new race dates in June (8k & 1-Mile ) and August (Half marathon & 10k), providing greater opportunity for participation on all levels in the sport of running

Friday, 21 November 2014 14:45

Six More Pit Bull Dogs Rescued In Akron

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Six more dogs have been rescued by Summit County humane officers, this time from a vacant house on Fern Street in Akron.

Two dogs were found dead. All the dogs were found caged in waste without access to food and water.

PAWSibilities, the Humane Society of Greater Akron, is caring for the surviving dogs. The agency says many of the dogs - pit bulls - found at the Fern Street house have wounds consistent with dog fighting.

The dogs' ownership can't be proven, so charges haven't been filed. There's no way to directly link the dogs found Wednesday with the dog fighting ring that was broken up on Saturday.

But the Humane Society says the injuries, and the timing of the rescue are consistent with dog fighting.

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(PAWSibilities Humane Society of GreaterOn Wednesday November 19, 2014 acting on a tip from Akron Police, Sr. Humane Officer Tim Harland
and Humane Officer Shannon O'Herron, rescued (6) more pit bulls abandoned in a vacant house on Fern Street in Akron. Many of the dogs have wounds consistent with dog fighting; and were taken to the shelter at PAWSibilities®, Humane Society of Greater Akron (PHSGA.)

The dogs were found caged in their own waste without access to food or water. Sadly, there were two (2) deceased dogs. Officer O'Herron states "We walked into this situation having no true idea of what we would be facing. The only thing we knew ahead of time is that dogs could be heard barking inside of a garage on a vacant property. What we found was one of the most gruesome scenes I have witnessed in a very long time. There is no doubt in my mind that eventually all of these dogs would have died in that garage from starvation, dehydration, or complications from their wounds. It was devastating to find two deceased dogs; but I am very grateful we were made aware of this in time to save the remaining six (6) dogs".

Since ownership of these dogs can't be proven no charges have been filed. PHSGA is unable to directly link them to the dog fight broken up on Saturday Nov. 17 that led to the arrest of 47 people. However, the injuries, the timing of this rescue and the environment are consistent with dog fighting.

"This is the work we do every day to serve the people of Summit County. We rescue abandoned, abused and neglected animals. Some have probably been victims of dog fighting while others have been abused or neglected in other ways. We're asking for the community's help. Especially now, if you live near a vacant house and observe or hear unusual dog activity please contact us at (330) 487-0333 so that we can help them right away" urged Sr. Officer Harland.

Including these new dogs the organization has a record number of 147 dogs, 214 cats and 118 small animals from the seizure of 628 guinea pigs, rabbits and birds in August. We are requesting your assistance to help care for them. Charitable contributions can be made at www.summithumane.org or sent to 7996 Darrow Road, Twinsburg, OH 44087.

Friday, 21 November 2014 13:49

1989 Murderer Denied Parole Again

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The man serving an 18 year to life prison term for killing a young woman in Norton won't be getting out of of prison any time soon.

The Ohio Parole Board denied another parole request by 45 year-old Richard Ashley, who's serving a sentence for murdering 18 year old Lisa Kamenar in 1989.

Ashley shot Lisa in the head despite claiming she was his friend. He also shot someone 3 years earlier at a Wisconsin cabin.

Ashley won't be considered again for parole until 2018.

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(Summit County Prosecutor's Office, news release) The Ohio Parole Board agreed with the request of Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh to deny parole for Richard Ashley, 45, currently in prison for the 1989 murder of 18 year old Lisa Kamenar.

Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said, "No one deserves to lose a family member in such a senseless and callous manner as the Kamenar family did. I am pleased that justice continues to be served for this family, and people like Ashley remain in prison." Walsh added,
"In 2005, my office testified to the Board to continue Ashley's sentence. We also opposed his parole this time and are pleased with the Board's decision to deny his parole request."

Ashley, who claimed Kamenar was his friend, fatally shot her in the head at a Norton home. In a similar case in 1986, Ashley shot a person he claimed to be his friend at a cabin in Wisconsin.

Ashley is serving an 18 year to life prison term. He will not be considered for parole again until 2018.

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