ABC News(PHOENIX) -- In her final words to jurors Tuesday before they decide her punishment for murder, Jodi Arias clicked through a photo slideshow, quoted Dickens and used props as she begged them to spare her life for her family's sake. Arias, 32, was convicted earlier this month of murdering her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in 2008. The...
iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Limited rail service resumes Tuesday afternoon between New York and Bridgeport, Conn., after two trains derailed last week.Limited Amtrak and Metro-North commuter rail service resumes between New York and New Haven and full service is expected to resume Wednesday.One of two tracks damaged when the trains...
TSANEW YORK) -- A New York man was arrested Tuesday at John F. Kennedy International Airport after a loaded gun was found in his luggage.It's the second time in four days a passenger at JFK has been spotted with a loaded gun in his carry-on.The passenger was flying to Hawaii when his .22 caliber handgun was confiscated.It followed a San...
Edward "Ed" Esposito is vice-president, information media for the Rubber City Radio Group. He oversees news and public affairs programs for www.AkronNewsNow.com, 1590 WAKR, 97.5 WONE and 94.9 WQMX. He is Secretary-Treasurer of the Radio Television Digital News Foundation; a former chair of the Radio Television Digital News Association and Foundation and a former president of the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Association. He's also served as a member of the Akron Press Club , Kent State University Student Media Advisory Board, Ohio Open Government Coalition, Northeast Ohio AMBER Task Force. He's lectured on broadcasting and journalism for the University of Missouri in China, as well as across the country for RTDNA and RTDNF. You can reach Ed through the newsroom at 330-864-6397 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
The new General Manager for the Double A Akron Aeros gets a homecoming.
Jim Pfander has been serving as General Manger of the Charlotte Stone Crabs in Florida; they're the Class A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays and he also oversaw the major league team's spring training operations. In addition to stop in Florida, Pfander's been involved with teams in South Carolina, Massachusetts, and Washington state.
Pfander is a Archbishop Hoban High School graduate and also an alum of Ohio University. He got his start in baseball with the Cleveland Indians as an intern.
(Akron Aeros - news release) Akron native and veteran minor league baseball executive Jim Pfander has been hired as the new General Manager of the Akron Aeros. Pfander is only the second general manager in Aeros history, and the first executive named by new owner Ken Babby.
No tour of Canal Park will be necessary for Pfander, who served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Aeros in 2011. Pfander’s efforts that season resulted in the first attendance increase in seven years. Ticket and sponsorship revenue also increased from the previous year under Pfander’s leadership.
Most recently, Pfander spent the 2012 season as the General Manager of the Charlotte (Fla.) Stone Crabs of the Florida State League. The Stone Crabs are a Class-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. His responsibilities included overseeing the Stone Crabs organization and the Rays spring training as well. He and his staff also hosted the Florida State League All-Star Game last season.
Other stops during his 13-year career include various positions with teams in Charleston, South Carolina, Brockton, Massachusetts, and Spokane, Washington.
Pfander is a graduate of Archbishop Hoban High School and Ohio University. He began his baseball career as an intern in the Cleveland Indians broadcasting department in 2000, prior to several assignments with minor league teams across the country.
“I am extremely pleased to welcome Jim back home to Akron and Canal Park,” said Babby. “His experience and enthusiasm will be invaluable as we enter a new era of Aeros baseball.” As General Manager of the Aeros, Pfander will oversee all business and promotional aspects of the organization, including sales, ticketing, marketing and community relations.
“The opportunity to return to my hometown and rejoin the Aeros is very exciting,” said Pfander, who is expected to officially begin working with the team on October 22nd. “I look forward to working with Ken Babby, and the new business team we are assembling, and certainly embrace coming home to the passionate Aeros fans in Akron/Canton and all of Northeast, Ohio. I am also excited to continue to build on our great relationship with the City of Akron and the Indians organization.” Pfander will be residing in Akron with his wife, Page, and daughter, Olivia, 5
There are a handful of local medical facilities on a list of 64 across Ohio where the threat of contaminated medical products at the heart of a nationwide meningitis outbreak is of concern to the state Department of Health.
On the list: Akron Children's Hospital; NOVUS Clinic, Tallmadge; Ohio Retina Associates, Canton; St. Clare Surgery Center, Stow; Vitreo Retinal Consultants, Canton; and Western Reserve Surgery Center, Kent.
The list was released late Thursday by ODH and the state is urging the facilities to contact patients who may have been prescribed products manufactured by the New England Compounding Center. The list is based on those health centers that purchased NECC products since May 2012.
So far, Ohio reports seven cases of fungal meningitis. None were located on northeast Ohio and the nearest case to Akron is in Crawford County.
(Ohio Department of Health) The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is encouraging all health care providers to follow-up with patients who received any injectable products from New England Compounding Center (NECC) since May 2012. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided states with a list from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of all facilities that purchased NECC products during that time frame. ODH is making the list of the 64 Ohio facilities available online to aid in the outreach to patients. The list includes any provider who bought a NECC product since May 21, 2012, even topical products, which FDA has indicated are low- or no-risk products.
“We are working with health care providers to reach out to patients, but we need two-way communication,” said Dr. Ted Wymyslo, Director at ODH. “At this time, ODH does not have a count on the number of patients that received drugs in the expanded recall list. Since this investigation is changing so rapidly, it’s critical that Ohioans who received these injections or solutions be informed and watch closely for any change in how they are feeling.”
ODH used a statewide health emergency alerting system to contact health care providers and hospitals throughout the state with this additional guidance from FDA. Local health departments are being tasked with calling each facility in their jurisdiction and supporting those facilities with patient outreach. ODH expects every patient who received a recalled injection to be contacted.
Unlike bacterial or viral meningitis, fungal meningitis cannot be spread person-to-person. Ohio currently has seven cases of fungal meningitis (no deaths), all linked to back injections with steroids distributed by NECC. The case numbers for Ohio could change as CDC adjusts their case definition and Ohio further evaluates each patient.
· Crawford County: 40, female
· Hamilton County: 65, male
· Marion County: 55, female; 45, male; 47, female; 50, female
· Morrow County: 39, female
The medication at the center of the recall is a widely distributed steroid medication used to treat back pain and is administered by injection. Medication provided by NECC may be contaminated with a fungus that has led to some patients to develop a rare form of fungal meningitis (brain infection) and stroke.
On October 3, 2012, the company ceased all production and initiated recall of all methylprednisolone acetate (a steroid medication) and other drug products prepared for injections in and around the spinal cord (known as intrathecal administration). On October 6, NECC announced a recall of all its products. A complete list of all products subject to this recall can be accessed here. ODH alerted health care providers in Ohio to inform them of symptoms that could be cause by the tainted drug as well as updated lists of recalled products. ODH teamed with local public health departments and other resources such as law enforcement to contact every patient who received an injection with methylprednisolone acetate.
ODH’s call for additional outreach to patients comes after the FDA reported that two transplant patients with Aspergillus fumigatus infection were administered NECC cardioplegic solution during surgery. FDA has not confirmed that these two infections were, in fact, caused by an NECC product. The cases did not occur in Ohio.
Week 8 is down as area teams start eyeing playoff positioning and rankings ahead of November's round of post-season play.
St. Vincent St. Mary made a big statement with a 56-7 drubbing of the Barberton Magic. In other parochial action Archbishop Hoban fell to Notre Dame Cathedral Latin 35-7.
In Akron city series matchups Ellet slipped by Firestone 13-7 while Garfield blanked East 27-0. Kenmore fell to Northwest 21-6.
Other local teams:
CVCA 17, Tusky Valley 16
Dalton 27, Chippewa 21
Elyria 49, Stow 13
GlenOak 35, Lake 17
Highland 43, Green 21
Hudson 25, Mayfield 13
Kent Roosevelt 62, Springfield 6
Manchester 34, Triway 31
Mentor 63, Medina 21
Mogadore 63, Rootstown 26
Nordonia 40, Revere 10
North Canton Hoover 21, Canton Central Catholic 16
North Royalton 24, Cuyahoga Falls 23
Norwayne 42, Smithville 6
Ravenna 39, Norton 6
Southeast 55, Waterloo 14
Streetsboro 48, Coventry 21
Tallmadge 55, Cloverleaf 21
Twinsburg 29, Solon 22
Wadsworth 28, Copley 0
Woodridge 52, Garrettsville 14
Federal and state authorities finally have a real name to go with a man held in a northeast Ohio jail -- a man painted as one of America's premier scam artists.
"Bobby Thompson" is no longer an "also known as" suspect behind bars. The man wanted for 25 years for ripping off probate bank accounts and allegedly masterminding a charity scam under a group known as the "U.S. Navy Veterans Association" has a real name, and it's John Donald Cody, a 65-year old living on the lam under a laundry list of fraud charges and even an espionage case.
He was locked up in Cleveland since he was arrested last spring in Oregon on charges from Ohio, awaiting trial, but he never divulged his true identity. U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott took it as a personal challenge, reviewing cold cases and wanted flyers over the decades before finally getting a copy of fingerprints that provided a solid match.
Cody had been wanted since 1987 in Virginia on probate court and mortgage fraud, a separate case from the Ohio fraud charges alleging he -- as "Bobby Thompson" -- was behind a scam operating as if it was a legitimate military veterans group that's believed to have snared more than $2 million dollars from Ohio residents and millions more from people in 40 other states who thought they were helping a veterans group.
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(U.S. Marshal - news release) On May 1, U.S. Marshals announced the arrest of one of Americas Most Wanted and elusive fugitives, known and charged in Ohio under the alias “Bobby Thompson.”
Photo at left, from U.S. Marshal's Office, shows "Thompson" in present day.
Thompson has been accused of stealing millions of dollars donated for the sole purpose of aiding U.S. veterans. “Bobby Thompson,” which was an alias, was on the run for more than two years in which he assumed numerous fictitious names and was known to alter his appearance. He was charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, identity theft, fraud and money laundering.
On April 30, he was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Portland, Ore., and brought back to Ohio to face the charges. At the time of arrest, authorities also seized nearly $1 million that “Thompson” had locked in a storage locker. “Thompson” has been detained in the Cuyahoga County Jail awaiting trial.
Today, U.S. Marshals, with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, positively identified “Bobby Thompson” as cold case fugitive John Donald Cody.Cody, 65, has been wanted by the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Marshals since 1987 for numerous fraudulent charges. Cody is also wanted for questioning by the FBI in connection to an ongoing espionage investigation.
U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott was so intrigued with this investigation and the fact that “Thompson” continued to hide his true identity that he began to search through the internet attempting to identify him.
Marshal Elliott conducted Google searches for cold case fraud fugitives with ties to military. In doing so, he came upon an FBI wanted flyer for a cold case fraud fugitive wanted since 1987. Upon looking at the dated picture, the man immediately had a noticeable likeness to “Thompson.” Upon reading the history of the case and particulars of the fugitive, things really matched up well with “Thompson.” The fugitive was John Donald Cody and after receiving a copy of his fingerprints from the FBI, they were a confirmed match with the fingerprints from the Cuyahoga County Jail of “Thompson.”
The federal warrant for Cody is from May 4, 1987, out of the Eastern District of Virginia charging him with interstate transportation of fraudulent traveler’s checks from probate estates’ bank accounts, false statements to an investment brokerage firm, and false statements on loan applications. Cody is also wanted by the FBI for questioning in connection to an ongoing espionage investigation. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Northern Ohio is currently communicating with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Eastern Virginia regarding these charges and to determine the next steps now that Cody has been positively identified and in custody at the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office.
(Attorney General - news release) Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine issued the following statement today after the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Marshals revealed John Donald Cody as the true identity of 'Bobby Thompson,' the mastermind of the alleged charity scam U.S. Navy Veterans Association.
"For years this suspect hid from the truth, but today, the truth has caught up with him," said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. "John Cody can no longer conceal his identity under the alias 'Bobby Thompson.'"
Federal authorities announced this morning that fingerprint analysis revealed Cody had been wanted by the FBI for fraud since 1987.
The Ohio Attorney General's Office has spent years investigating Cody, who is believed to have collected nearly $2 million of Ohioans' money and tens of millions from residents in 40 other states who thought they were donating to military veterans.
John Cody AKA 'Bobby Thompson' is currently in custody in Cleveland, awaiting trial on charges including money laundering and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. The Ohio Attorney General's Office is prosecuting the case.
Akron city officials issuing policy changes on the procedures used by the Dog Warden after a pit bull attack injured three people.
The meeting with police and city officials comes ten days after the incident the evening of Wednesday, September 19th on Dietz Avenue when the out-of-control animal bit three people after neighbors made calls to 9-1-1.
Police officers on the scene repeatedly called for the animal warden and additional help over a 21-minute period, but were told at one time "animals can't be arrested" and the dog should be secured on the owner's property.
The policy changes issued today would provide the highest-ranking officer on the scene to summon the dog warden; it also requires the dog warden to respond to such serious calls when they are notified.
On September 19th, the dog warden declined to come out when called by police dispatchers.
Akron Changes Vicious Dog Response Policy by Larry States
(City of Akron - news release) Today, City officials, which included managers, department directors, police captains, and an animal control officer, met to discuss and revamp its policies regarding City police and animal control officer responses to vicious dog attacks. Two specific changes were discussed and are effective immediately.
First, when there is a vicious dog attack in Akron, the highest ranking Akron Police supervisor on the scene will call the animal control officer directly to discuss the case and to decide whether the animal control officers’ services are needed. Prior to today’s meeting, the police on the scene would call Safety Services, who would then call the animal control officer and relay the information about the vicious dog and the attack.
“A direct conversation between the animal control officer and a police supervisor who is at the scene of the attack is the best method to communicate the seriousness of the incident,” said John Valle, Akron’s Director of Neighborhood Assistance. “It seems that the gravity of the attack, or the immediacy of action, may get lost in translation when the message is delivered to a call taker, and then relayed to the animal control officer. Nothing beats hearing firsthand the inflection in the officer’s voice when he is standing at the scene of the attack.”
Second, Akron’s animal control officers will respond to any vicious dog attack as soon as they are notified, even if the dog is under control and in the owner’s house when the animal control officer receives the call. Previously, an animal control officer only responded if there was still a threat to the public, meaning the dog is still roaming the streets, the dog is not under control, or the dog is not contained.
“Our animal control officers have no authority to go into someone’s house and take their dog, even if the dog bit or attacked another person. That is the state of the law whether we like it or not,” said Valle. “Only if the police and/or the animal control officer are able to secure a search warrant from a Judge can the dog be removed from the house once it is contained. Because search warrants are only issued if the dog is an immediate threat to the public, once the dog is under control and secured, the immediate threat to the public has been eliminated. However, I still believe there is value to our citizens if our animal control officers respond to the scene to gather information about the animal and to attempt to talk with the owner, so that is what we are going to do.”
These new changes are the result of the pit bull attack that occurred 9 days ago where there were two child victims and one adult victim. In that case, the animal control officer followed proper City protocol by not going to the scene of the incident because by the time the animal control officer was called, the dog had already been secured by its owner and in the owner’s residence. The next morning the animal control officer went to the owner’s residence and issued citations.
“Upon review of the incident, I really feel we needed a change of policy so our residents do not feel like the City didn’t respond because it occurred at night and was inconvenient,” said Valle. “Nothing is further from the truth. We do care and we are changing our policy immediately to address this concern.”
An ID on the person killed yesterday in that Copley Fire -- and the case may have more twists and turns to go. The Medical Examiner's office says it was the body of 66-year old Edward Draher, who lived in the home at Earhart Avenue. Cause of death was NOT the fire but instead a gunshot wound to the head, but the actual manner of death is still to be determined.
Copley Fire crews responded to the blaze at 1554 Earhart Avenue at 11:24 Thursday morning. They found the homeowner, Draher, inside a first floor room. Draher was removed from the still-burning home but he was already dead. It took firefighters about another hour to bring the fire under control.
Three firefighters suffered minor injuries in the incident; all were treated and released from a local hospital.
Police report the fire was intentionally set, and Draher died of a single gunshot wound to the head. Police are unsure at this time whether the gunshot was by Draher's own hand or was the result of foul play.
We're hearing more of the actual radio traffic between Akron police, the 9-1-1 dispatch center and the Akron dog warden from that dog attack last week on Dietz Avenue.
These recordings come from the service radio channels, not the 9-1-1 callers the evening of Wednesday, September 19, just after 8:30 p.m. In the heat of the moment over the 21 minute period when officers first arrived on the scene; three people required medical attention due to bites received from the out-of-control pit bull.
Officers arriving on the scene asked for more EMS and someone with a shotgun, then repeated calls for the dog warden and asked that police units with a "dog pole" be dispatched to Dietz Avenue. The "dog pole" is a lengthy pole with a retractable loop which allows dog wardens or officers to humanely secure an animal without harm.
The recording provides a glimpse into what officers had on their hands that night; AkronNewsNow has condensed the full 21 minutes by editing "dead air" and deleting two short talk segments which provided little additional perspective other than the officer-dispatcher exchange of unit numbers. The audio compilation runs approximately seven minutes.
City officials say they will change city policy so the dog warden is more responsive to such calls in the future, but details have been lacking pending a face-to-face meeting with police that hasn't taken place. Sources at City Hall say police and the Administration overseeing the Dog Warden's function would be meeting as early as Thursday and a decision on policy changes could come by the end of the week.
One big unanswered question remains manpower: with just one or two dog wardens available to answer all animal calls city-wide, will more people need to be hired for animal control?
The State of Ohio's preliminary report cards are out for local school districts -- and the cream of the student crop remain Revere, Tallmadge, Nordonia Hills, Hudson, and Green all scoring over the 90-point mark for reading, writing, math, science and social studies.
Students in Copley-Fairlawn, Coventry, Cuyahoga Falls, Manchester, Mogadore, Norton, Stow-Munroe Falls, Twinsburg and Woodridge had test results of 90 or better in at least one of the five categories. Test scores in Akron, Barberton, and Springfield were generally in the 80s and 70s.
The highest scores came with a 98.7 in reading and 95.1 in science by Revere; Norton's 95.9 in writing took top place in that category; 96.8 in math and social studies from Hudson students claimed top spots in both of those categories. The lone test result below a 70 came in science testing, a 61.5 mark in Akron public schools.
The results were delayed by a month because of an ongoing investigation on whether some schools altered student attendance results. This partial report card doesn't include the impact of attendance, overall grades of performance index scores which help present a better picture of just how well schools are doing.
View the state report HERE from the Ohio Department of Education. You can access the full spreadsheet with statewide results by clicking on the attachment link after our social media tools further down on this page.
An Akron institution hospitalized after a major stroke over the weekend. Haven of Rest's Rose Rose says Reverend Thomas, 77, had just returned from a vacation when hit by the stroke Saturday morning.
"We heard that Saturday morning Rev. Curtis Thomas, our Director Emeritus of Haven of Rest, had a major stroke," agency spokesperson Rose Rose confirmed to AkronNewsNow.com.
"He is such a role model to all of us. I remember when I was hired years ago one of the things that impressed me the very most that when he looks at a person, he sees them as God sees them and not as we might see them," Rose said. "He sees all the potential that God might have for that person; he has a genuine love of people."
Rev. Thomas is currently in the intensive care unit at a local hospital. The family asked that the hospital remain unnamed, but prayers are appreciated. Cards and letters can be sent to the Haven of Rest Ministries, P.O. Box 547, Akron, OH 44309-0547.
Ohio's Attorney General is hoping someone knows where convicted Stark County sex offender David Frantz Jr. is hanging out these days.
Frantz is charged with not registering his address with local police, as required by law. It's the sixth time he's gone missing.
Frantz was first convicted in 1997 have having sex with a minor and convicted of not registering as a sex offender five times since getting out of prison. A description and photo are now posted to AkronNewsNow.com.
(Ohio Attorney General news release) Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is asking for the public's help in locating a convicted sex offender who is accused of not registering his address for the sixth time.
Deputies with the Stark County Sheriff's Office filed a warrant for the arrest of David Frantz Jr. in August 2011.
Frantz was classified as a Sexually Oriented Offender in 1997 when he was convicted on a charge of Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a female minor. After his release from prison, he was convicted five times for failing to provide a change of address in 1999, 2002, 2004, 2008, and 2009.
The 39-year-old last registered his address as 841 11th Street SE in Massillon.
The suspect has several tattoos, including a lizard on a crystal ball, a sun, and a heart on his right arm, the word "Dave" on his left arm, a wolf on his chest, and a cross on his back.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of David Frantz Jr. should contact the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) at 855-BCI-OHIO (855-224-6446) or the Stark County Sheriff's Office.
This news release is part of Attorney General Mike DeWine's Crimes Against Children Initiative. As part of the Crimes Against Children Initiative, Attorney General DeWine will publicize convicted sex offenders who have victimized children and are wanted on outstanding warrants. Other parts of the initiative include the establishment of a Crimes Against Children Unit at BCI, creation of a rapid response team for crimes against children, and specialized law enforcement training through BCI and the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA).
David Frantz Jr.
Date of Birth:
November 29, 1972
Right Arm – Lizard on crystal ball, sun, heart
Left Arm – "Dave"
Chest – Wolf
Back – Cross
Stark County Sheriff's Office
September 25, 2010
Date of Warrant:
August 15, 2011
Failure to Provide a Change of Address
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