It's the single largest gift the foundation has received in its 56-year history.

Medical Mutual of Ohio presented a check to the Akron Community Foundation for $5 million for a charitable fund. Meanwhile, the insurer has plans in the works to build a new downtown Akron office building.

President and CEO of the Akron Community Foundation John Petures joined 1590 WAKR's Ray Horner Friday morning and explained how they will use the donation. Listen to his interview below:

Press Release:

AKRON, Ohio (Feb. 24, 2012) – Jared Chaney, chief marketing and communications officer of Medical Mutual of Ohio, presented a $5 million check to Akron Community Foundation Chair Michael A. Sweeney at the foundation’s quarterly board meeting this morning. The gift is the largest in the community foundation’s history. With it, the company established the Medical Mutual Community Investment Fund, a corporate-advised fund that will be the company’s charitable arm in the Akron area, where it will break ground on a new office later this year.

According to Chaney, the main reason Medical Mutual established the fund is Akron Community Foundation’s ability to gauge the needs and emerging issues of greater Akron: “You have your finger on the pulse of this community,” he said. “Working with Akron Community Foundation gives us a partner who understands local issues and who can help us use our charitable dollars to maintain a vital, healthy community for our policyholders.”

This fund is the first of several charitable funds Medical Mutual plans to establish at community foundations across Ohio. As a mutual insurance company owned by its policyholders, Medical Mutual is a strong supporter of nonprofit causes that improve life in its customers’ communities, Chaney said. “Our first responsibility is to our policyholders. Part of that is meeting the charitable needs in the communities where they live,” he told the board.

In addition to Chaney, the fund’s advisory committee will consist of President and CEO Rick Chiricosta, Chief Legal Officer and Executive Vice President Pat Dugan, and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Dennis Jancsy. They will meet periodically with community foundation staff to recommend grants that support a broad range of programs in Summit County.

Akron Community Foundation President and CEO John T. Petures Jr. said he is “thrilled” to be partnering with Medical Mutual to make greater Akron “a more vibrant community.” He said he views the partnership as a model of how community foundations can work with charitable people of all kinds, be they individuals or organizations.

“Akron Community Foundation exists to help charitable people make a permanent commitment to the good of the community – whatever ‘good of the community’ is to them,” Petures said. “Our goal is to enhance people’s philanthropy by making it less cumbersome and more strategic: from handling gift acknowledgments and tax reporting, to offering grant-making options that match donors’ charitable intent. We are excited to be partnering with this great organization, and we can’t wait to work together to improve Summit County’s quality of life.”

The foundation’s largest previous gift of $4.74 million came in 1994 from the John A. McAlonan Trust, which established the John A. McAlonan Fund. Since then, the fund has made $5.1 million in grants and grown to $9.5 million in assets, nearly entirely from its initial gift.

About Medical Mutual of Ohio

A trusted insurer for more than 75 years, Medical Mutual of Ohio is the oldest and largest health insurance company headquartered in the state of Ohio and its Family of Companies has operations in Georgia, Indiana and South Carolina. As a mutual company, Medical Mutual operates for the benefit of its members without being required to meet the demands of stockholders or Wall Street analysts. Instead, the company focuses on developing products and services that allow it to better serve its customers and communities. Visit us at:

About Akron Community Foundation

Celebrating more than 56 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. Today, it is a $135 million philanthropic endowment with a growing family of 400 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life.

To date, the community foundation’s funds have awarded a combined $94 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own fund, call Dr. Suzanne Allen or Laura Fink at 330-376-8522.

Friday, 24 February 2012 10:20

Weather Alert: High Wind Warning

A strong low pressure system will move into the greater Akron region Friday and with it, it will bring winds gusting up to 60 miles per hour.

The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Warning, which will remain in effect until 8 p.m. Friday night.

Forecasters say the high winds could be powerful enough to damage power lines and trees.

"That could cause localized damage and spuratic power outages," Jen Nitoso said, Weather Channel meteorologist.

Wind warnings are issued when sustained winds of 40 miles per hour are expected for at least an hour, with gusts as strong as 58 miles per hour or greater.

Click here for your extended Akron area forecast.

Follow for the latest weather-related developments. 

Thursday, 23 February 2012 10:07

Akron & AFSCME Reach Tentative Pay Deal

The city of Akron and one of its unions could soon come to a formal agreement on wage increases.

AFSCME Local 1360 and city reached a tentative deal, but Beacon Journal reports the details on the new wage rates for workers were not provided.

The union's 405 members will vote on the proposal on Wednesday.

If it's approved, the agreement will go before Akron City Council for a vote.

Before the end of this year, the city is expected to begin contract negociations with AFSCME, the police and fire unions.

On the web:

Thursday, 23 February 2012 06:41

Green Student Arrested For Facebook Posts

A Green High School student is accused of posting photos of teachers online with the word "murder" in the captions.

News Channel 5 reports Dalton Holmes, 18, was arrested and charged with six counts of misdemeanor aggravated menacing and theft on Friday. A classmate noticed the photos posted to Facebook and told school officials, who then alerted the Summit County Sheriff's Department.

Authorities say Holmes took school ID photos, then posted them onto Facebook. A total of six pictures of teachers from the high school were uploaded. A single word, "murder", was displayed under each photo.

His mother, Kelley Holmes, was also taken into custody and charged with intimidation of a witness and menacing after she allegedly tried to intimidate police officers Friday. 

On the web:

Thursday, 23 February 2012 13:01

UPDATE Two Dead In Wilbeth Rd. Crash

UPDATE Officials have now identified the two men killed in a fatal head-on collision Wednesday evening on Akron's city streets.

The Summit County Medical Examiner reports Richard Ratliff, 34, of 12th Street SW in Akron and Anthony Mook 24, of 15th Street SW were in the vehicle hit head-on by another car that police say went left of center near the intersection of Wilbeth Road and Ninth Street.

The identity of the Ford Bronco has not yet been identified.

Previous coverage:

The vehicles involved in an Akron collision were crushed.

The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office is investigating the collision where two men inside a Chevrolet Caprice died.

Officials say the Chevy was traveling east on Wilbeth Road, when another vehicle went left of center and struck them head-on.

The driver of the Chevy was said to be 34 and his passenger was 24-years old.

The driver of a Ford Bronco, a 39-year old man, was seriously injured and taken to Akron General Medical Center for treatment.

Names of the victims are being withheld at this time.

The collision happened close to 9 p.m. on Wednesday at the intersection of Wilbeth Road and Ninth Street.

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Wednesday, 22 February 2012 12:49

Ohio Home Sales Climb

The housing market across the U.S. is showing improvement in the first month of the year and the same can be said here at home.

Sales were up close to 13-percent when you compare January of this year to January of 2011.

The Ohio Association of Relators reported 6,000 homes sold during the first month of 2012.

"Our market has now posted seven consecutive monthly sales gains, dating back to July 2011,” Association President Robert U. Miller said, in a press release.

"We're hopeful that the housing sector will continue to make progress throughout 2012 and build upon the solid foundation that has been established in recent months," he said.

The average price tag mirrors 2011 numbers at a little more than $115,000.

The association's most recent survey indicates real estate agents remain optimistic about the market in the coming months.

On the web:


Wednesday, 22 February 2012 09:50

Police Chase Ends With Akron Man's Arrest

An Akron man led police on a chase following a two-vehicle crash.

Akron Police report Daniel T. Seese, 31, was intoxicated while behind the wheel when he allegedly caused the crash at East Tallmadge Avenue and Home Avenue at 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Two people were injured and taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Akron Police Lt. Edwards says the injuries the two suffered were non-life threatening.

Police say Seese tried to make a quick get-away as officers chased him until he was stopped at 56 Colonial Hills Drive.

He was arrested on charges of aggravated vehicular assault, failure to comply and operating a vehicle under the influence.

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Wednesday, 22 February 2012 08:52

Animals Killed In Kent Fire

Five animals died in a fire out in Kent earlier this week.

Kent Fire Officials tell the Record Courier that the flames at a house in the 300 block of Cherry Street Monday night, killed three cats and two dogs.

Firefighters were able to rescue a cat trapped inside as the crews responded at 10:40 p.m. The only resident at the home was evacuated and did not need immediate medical treatment. It took about a half hour to calm the blaze.

Fire officials say the damage is estimated at $75,000.

A cause is not known as the department continues to investigate.

On the web:


The Akron Bar Association requests Copley Police documents involving an Akron municipal court public defender. reported on Tuesday that Catherine Loya, a public defender, would be re-assigned following a Feb. 5 police report from Copley that indicated she refused a breathalyzer test when found in a car with Akron Municipal Court Judge Joy Oldfield. A Copley police officer reported the vehicle smelled of alcohol.

The Beacon Journal reports police documents regarding the incident are now in the hands of the Akron Bar. Any investigation by the association would be a private manner and findings could eventually be passed on to the Ohio Supreme Court.

On Tuesday, City Prosecutor Doug Powley questioned a potential conflict on reports from the Beacon Journal that stated Oldfield provided a ride to work for Loya following the incident. Loya lost her license to drive pending a citation for physical control of a vehicle and refusing the test.

Powley says he has reviewed the allegations with his courtroom prosecutor and has been assured that there has been "no adverse results" during the time that Judge Oldfield served in the courtroom.

The newspaper reports Oldfield's attorney admits she had been drinking that night, but John Hill says she was not drunk. He told the Beacon Journal on Sunday that the judge is "dumbfounded and incredibly upset" by the report, and there is "no unusual or inappropriate relationship" with Loya.

Previous Coverage: 

Public Defender Reassigned Following Allegations

Akron Judge Center of Police Report Flap

Tuesday, 21 February 2012 10:40

Child Hit By Pick-Up Truck Dies

A Homerville 2-year old hit by a pick-up truck died from her injuries Tuesday morning.

The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office and the Medina County Sheriff's Office continue to investigate Sophia Miller's death.

On Monday at 3:35 p.m., officials say Miller was at home when a truck was backing out of the driveway when they say she was hit.

Miller was taken to Akron Children's Hospital via Life Flight where she later died from her injuries Tuesday morning at about 8 a.m.

An autopsy is scheduled.