Over 38-hundred Ohio Edison customers are without power in West Akron this afternoon, and if you're one of them, you can blame a tree.

FirstEnergy says a tree fell on power lines, causing a widespread power outage in West Akron and the Wallhaven area.

Numerous traffic lights along West Market Street went out.

Ohio Edison says it's working to fix the wires downed by the tree.

The power company tells WAKR.net that hope to have the power restored as soon as possible.

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The man who shot and killed four Marines in Tennessee had Northern Ohio ties, and briefly worked at a nuclear power plant.

Akron-based FirstEnergy confirms that Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez was a "conditional employee" at FirstEnergy's Perry Nuclear Power Plant for 10 days in 2013, trying to become a plant engineer.

"He was never granted unescorted access," FirstEnergy's Stephanie Walton tells WAKR.net, "and never entered the secured area of the plant."

Walton says that Abdulazeez was let go when he didn't meet the company's "minimum requirements for ongoing employment". She says that like all new employees, a background check was being performed while he was there...he was getting company-related training in an office.

Walton says that once Abdulazeez's picture was shown all over the world, Perry employees went into action.

"When Perry workers recognized him from media reports, they quickly notified their management, and then Perry management immediately informed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission," Walton says. "And now plant officials are fully cooperating with any request from law enforcement as they continue their investigation."

NewsChannel 5 reports that Abdulazeez may have had other ties to the region, including possibly working at a marketing company in Independence and living in Willoughby Hills.

Abdulazeez was killed by police Thursday after his shooting spree.

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Chuck Jones began his career with FirstEnergy in 1978, where he was a substation engineer. From there, he has worked his way up through the ranks, and as of January 1st, he is the new President and CEO of FirstEnergy. Chuck joined the WAKR Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss his rise through the company, and he answered some questions regarding FirstEnergy.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER

Who says you have to live in New York City or Los Angeles to model?! As far as we're concerned, Medina County may as well be the hotbed for modeling! Evan Suboticki is the Medina County line leader for FirstEnergy, and his job is to direct his fellow employees to make sure their jobs are done correctly and safely. But not only is his job of important stature, he's also the model for a line of FirstEnergy bobbleheads. Evan joined Ray Horner to talk about his job and his newfound fame.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER

An ordinary Akron citizen came up with a common sense way to help FirstEnergy know when street lights have burned out. Carl Williams joined Jasen and Bobbi to talk about his "The Brighter, The Better" project.

Published in Jasen Sokol

First Energy CEO Tony Alexander says he'll support the proposed Summit County sales tax hike to fund law enforcement upgrades and a new downtown arena. He'll also be working to whip up support for the tax in the business community. He joined Jasen to explain why.

Published in Jasen Sokol

Tricia Ingraham with FirstEnergy spoke with Ray about how the company uses the power of technology and social media to connect with customers.


Maria Campanelli . Executive Director with the Children's Museum Of Cleveland spoke with WAKR's Ray Horner Friday morning.


Published in WAKR RAY HORNER

The cost behind the electric bill for many FirstEnergy customers will definitely go up in the next couple of years - but will the bill itself go up?

A PUCO auction Wednesday for power for customers who don't switch to other wholesale suppliers came up with average prices as high as 68-dollars per megawatt hour for a two year period through 2016.

FirstEnergy spokesman Doug Colafella says that the utility knew higher prices were coming...and tried to do something about it.

"The idea was for us to take advantage of some of the lower electricity prices we were seeing one or two years ago," Colafella tells AkronNewsNow.com, "and be able to blend those low prices with the slightly higher prices that we're seeing, together."

Colafella says that the company is trying to shield customers from price spikes, "and ensure that our customers who don't switch to a competitive supplier can get the most affordable electric supply prices available in the marketplace."

Colafella says he can't predict exactly how bills will be affected in the next couple of years, but says FirstEnergy customers can shop around for different wholesale suppliers. The utility will still deliver the power.

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Tuesday, 07 January 2014 21:09

Power Use: Slight Warming Helps Lower Use

The power grid that handles thirteen states, including Ohio, has called for people to conserve energy whenever possible this week.

PJM Interconnect says Tuesday saw record winter demand.

FirstEnergy is one of the utilities on the PJM Grid.

Spokesman Mark Durbin says that there was "heavy" power demand during the heart of the cold snap, but even a few extra degrees on the thermometer will help lower consumption.

"With the temperatures on the upswing, even though it's creeping upwards," Durbin tells AkronNewsNow.com, "it still will help a great deal as far as the electricity people use."

Durbin says that though usage has been heavy, this isn't the time of year that usually sets records for power usage in Ohio.

"As far as any all-time peaks," Durbin says, "typically we see that in the summertime when people are using those air conditioners a lot."

He says the widespread use of natural gas heat in the winter means the demand for electric heat in Ohio isn't as heavy as it is in some other states.

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Wednesday, 18 December 2013 13:58

FirstEnergy Shuffles VPs After VPs Retirement

The retirement of a long-time member of FirstEnergy's management is prompting some shuffling at the vice-president level.

The Akron-based utility says Mark T. Clark, executive vice president of Finance and Strategy, is retiring after 37 years with the company.

Senior vice-president and chief financial officer James Pearson will now directly report to FirstEnergy president/CEO Anthony Alexander

He'll oversee vice-president of Corporate Risk and chief risk officer John Judge.


(FirstEnergy - news release) Akron, Ohio – FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) today announced management changes that expand the roles and responsibilities for key executives as part of the company's succession planning strategy, and reflect the company's focus on building its regulated businesses. The following changes will be effective on January 1, 2014.

Mark T. Clark, executive vice president, Finance and Strategy, will retire following a 37-year career with the company. James F. Pearson, senior vice president and chief financial officer, who previously reported to Clark, will report to Anthony J. Alexander, president and chief executive officer. John W. Judge, vice president, Corporate Risk and chief risk officer, will report to Pearson.

"Mark has played a key role in shaping the company's strategic direction and growth, and he was an integral part of the effort that built FirstEnergy into one of the nation's largest diversified energy companies," said Alexander. "His vast knowledge and experience have helped guide our company through both growth and challenges, and I appreciate all he has done for FirstEnergy."

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