A Stow couple has waited 31 years for this day.

"It's like I won the lottery," said 66-year-old John Marshall.

Marshall couldn't hold back the tears while explaining the meaning behind getting a marriage license to legally tie the knot with his partner, 65-year-old James Neilsen.

"It's just like all of your life you've been denied something that you know in you heart is right," said Marshall. "And finally the door swings open."

According to the Summit County Probate Court, Marshall and Neilsen were the first male couple to recieve their marriage license in Summit County.

Marshall called it a historic day -- breaking down barriers and giving same-sex couples equal rights.

Within a two hour period, four couples applied for a marriage license Friday afternoon.

Published in Local
Friday, 26 June 2015 12:10

Local Same-Sex Couples Can Marry Today

Same-sex couples in Ohio can officially tie the knot following the Supreme Court's ruling to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

Summit County Probate Court Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer said they were prepared for the ruling to be handed down this week -- but there wasn't a line immediately forming outside the courthouse.

"We've received calls from people who indicated that they're going to be coming," said Stormer.

Stormer said changes were already made in preparation of the Supreme Court's ruling.

"What we did a couple of weeks ago was go to a general neutral marriage application, so it doesn't say bride and groom. It just says 'applicant 1 and applicant 2' and then there are some other minor tweaks," said Stormer.

But that's just the beginning of some of the changes that will be made in the near future.

"Adoptions will now be recognized between same-sex couples. Name changes can be made between same-sex couples," said Stormer. "So there are other ancillary items that can come through the probate court that people were not able to do, and now they will be able to do that."

Couples planning to stop by the Summit County Probate Court by 4 p.m. will be able to receive their marriage license today. Hours may be extended.

Published in Local

The former Akron police captain convicted, exonerated, then sent back to jail for the 1997 murder of his ex-wife, Dr. Margo Prade, is set to appear in court today.

Summit County Common Pleas Judge Christine Croce will hear arguments today in regards to whether Douglas Prade should get a new trial in the murder of his ex-wife.

The hearing was scheduled after the Ohio Supreme Court refused to hear Doug Prade's appeal.

The legal battle comes after new DNA evidence suggests that Prade is excluded from one central piece of evidence, although prosecutors say that hardly means he's innocent.

Published in Local
Monday, 25 May 2015 08:53

Summit Memorial Day Observances

On this day the reason flags fly at half-staff until noon, and a moment of silence observed nationwide at 3:00 p.m.

The swimming, boating, gardening and cookouts to the contrary, Memorial Day marks the anniversary of end of the Civil War and honors all in service, those wounded in action and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in fighting for our freedoms.

There are suggestions Memorial Day observances have strayed from the original reason for the holiday, and some pushback to restore Memorial Day to it's traditional May 30th date and not fix the holiday to a three-day weekend.

Communities across northeast Ohio celebrate Memorial Day with flags, marching bands, parades and ceremonies.

Summit County Memorial Day Observances:

Akron will hold its Memorial Day Observance at 11 a.m. at Greenlawn Cemetery.

Bath Township Memorial Day Observance will take place at noon at Bath Veterans Memorial Park.

Clinton Memorial Day Parade will begin at 11 a.m. at Highpoint Christian Church on Comet Road.

Copley Township Memorial Day parade will begin at 10 a.m. from Copley Middle School to Copley Veterans Cemetery, 3788 Copley Road.

Cuyahoga Falls Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. at Lillis Drive and Portage Trail. Ceremony will commence at 11 a.m. in the Veterans Section of Oakwood Cemetery.

Green Memorial Day Ceremony and Parade at noon at the Green Veterans Memorial Park, 1900 Steese Rd. Activities include a pancake breakfast, parade, community picnic and car show.

Hudson Memorial Day Parade will start at 10 a.m. at Milford Road and Veterans Way.

Mogadore Memorial Day Parade will begin at 10 a.m. at James Street and South Cleveland, ending at Greenwood Cemetery. There will be a ceremony following the parade. A pancake breakfast will also be held from 8-11 a.m. at Mogadore Christian Church.

New Franklin Memorial Day Parade will begin at 9 a.m. at Grace Bible Church parking lot. A remembrance service will follow the parade at the gazebo at Manchester Cemetery.

Northfield & Sagamore Hills Memorial Day Parade will start at St. Barnabas School at 10 a.m. and end at the Northfield-Macedonia Cemetery. A memorial service will follow at 11 a.m.

Richfield Memorial Day Pancake Breakfast is hosted by Kiwanis at the Richfield Senior Center until 1:00 p.m. 

Peninsula and Boston Township Parade will start 11 a.m. from Boston Township Hall to Cedar Grove Cemetery. Another ceremony will be held at Boston Cemetery.

Stow Memorial Day Ceremony will be held at Stow Cemetery at 10:15 a.m. There will be a march to the Veterans monument. The high school symphonic band will also perform.

Tallmadge Memorial Day Parade and Service will form in the Our Lady of Victory Church parking lot at 9:30 a.m. and march to Tallmadge Cemetery. A ceremony will take place at the cemetery.


Published in Local

You may have just started to see ads targeting benefit abuse in Summit County, but it's not a new topic for Summit County Executive Russ Pry. 

There is a full staff of investigators at the county level and a reporting hotline (330-643-7315) to combat fraud in programs including food stamps, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, and others. Pry says the programs are governed by state and federal guidelines, so it is important to make sure people are not receiving improper benefits.

Pry discussed benefit fraud on Thursday's edition of The Jasen Sokol Show:


Published in Jasen Sokol

More than 55,000 drivers were forced to find a new route to work this week after construction crews closed the westbound lanes of the Kenmore Leg.

On Monday morning, the Ohio Department of Transportation closed I-76 WB for a resurfacing project that expected to last about 35 days.

ODOT District 4 Spokesman Justin Chesnic said it's no surprise that drivers had to deal with a few issues on their detour route.

"We've obviously had some back ups around the morning rush hour and afternoon rush hour, but for it being the first couple days of the closure, we would say things have gone pretty smooth," said Chesnic.

Chesnic said they haven't received any complaints -- despite some slowdowns reported during rush hour.

"A lot of folks see the inconvenience of the closure, but what they also see is that we're getting the work done out there," said Chesnic.

Once crews complete the construction work on the westbound lanes, ODOT will move over to the other direction and close the eastbound lanes for the same amount of time. Crews hope to reopen the eastbound lanes of I-76 by the end of July, but the entire $9.6 million project to make pavement repairs and resurface the Kenmore Leg is expected to be completed by October.


Previous Coverage: 

VIDEO Construction Closes Westbound Lanes Of Kenmore Leg

Kenmore Leg To Close April 27

Published in Local

A 30-year-old Coventry Township man has been charged with attempted murder in a stabbing that left a person in critical condition late Tuesday afternoon.

James Kury, 30, is accused of a stabbing a 26-year-old in the neck with a long blade knife.

The victim was taken to a hospital and is listed in critical condition.

Summit County Sheriff's deputies said Kury could be facing additional charges pending the outcome of the investigation.

Published in Local
Thursday, 16 April 2015 12:24

Kenmore Leg To Close April 27

In just about ten days, road crews will be closing a portion of the Kenmore Leg at the end of this month for pavement repairs and resurfacing.

The Ohio Department of Transportation is beginning their long list of construction projects throughout the state, including the resurfacing project on the Kenmore Leg where crews will close the westbound lanes between I-77 and I-277 beginning April 27 through early June.

"Once we get that work done, basically, what we'll do is switch over and do the eastbound side of the Kenmore Leg, with the goal to have all this work done by the time the big golf tournament starts in late July and the (Pro Football) Hall of Fame Inductions ," said Justin Chesnic, ODOT District 4 public information officer.

As a result of the closure of the westbound lanes, the following ramps will also be closed during construction:

· The ramp from I-77 southbound to I-76/Kenmore Leg westbound. The detour will be I-76 eastbound to I-77 southbound to I-277 westbound.

· The ramp from I-77 northbound/I-76 westbound to I-76/Kenmore Leg westbound. The detour will be I-77 northbound to SR 21 southbound.

· The ramp from 22nd St. to I-76/Kenmore Leg/ westbound The detour will be Kenmore Blvd. to SR 93 south to Waterloo Rd. to I-277.

The $9.6 million project is expected to be completed by October 2015.


Published in Local
Tuesday, 14 April 2015 18:28

Hunger Rate Remains High in Ohio

A new report out shows that the amount of Ohioans who are struggling to afford food remains high -- above the national average.

The group Feeding America released the Map the Meal Gap 2015 report which shows the state's food insecurity rate stands at 16.9 percent. In Summit County, the food insecurity rate is 16.5 percent.

Kat Pastian from the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank says it's even worse for kids.

"For children, it's nearly one-in-four or 23.5 percent are going to face food insecurity this year," She explains. "Food insecurity basically means that they don't always have access to safe and nutritious foods."

The report shows there are more than 89-thousand "food insecure people" in the county with the average price of a meal around $2.75. Missouri's food insecurity rate tops all Midwestern states, but Ohio is ranked second.

Published in Local

Summit County Executive Russ Pry is keeping an eye on the situation surrounding the NEXUS pipeline, which would travel through Green and New Franklin.

In his monthly segment on the Jasen Sokol Show, Pry said he hasn't heard anything new from representatives since Council passed a resolution opposing the pipeline last month. He encouraged people to submit comments on the pipeline, saying that taking the pipeline through a heavily populated area will create more risk.

Because Green and New Franklin are cities with home rule authority, Pry said, the county has a more limited impact on the situation.

Pry said the sewer issue is one that many parts of Summit County are working on. In Barberton and Norton, Pry said progress is being made to turn sewer service over to Barberton rather than having several jurisdictions operating sewer systems. Sewers are also a challenge in Peninsula, where Pry said studies are ongoing to try to figure out how to best make sewers work.

Published in Jasen Sokol
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