Edward L. Esposito

Edward L. Esposito

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 eesposito@rcrg.net

Monday, 12 January 2015 10:18

WGC Breaks Glass Ceiling With 2015 Pick

The local CEO of FedEx Custom Critical may be used to breaking barriers as a woman executive but she's also knocking down the glass ceiling in what had been a men-only lineup as honorary chair of the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational on Akron's storied Firestone Country Club. It makes Virginia Albanese the first woman to ever hold the post. 

Albanese called it a "tremendous honor" in a release from the WGC today. Tournament Executive Director Don Padgett noted Albanese has been a long time supporter of the event and helped create the Executive Women's Day program held in tandem with the Bridgeston Invitational.

The event is scheduled for August 3-9, 2015.

(Bridgestone Invitational World Golf Championship) Tournament officials today announced that local businesswoman Virginia Albanese, president and CEO of FedEx Custom Critical, has been selected as the honorary chairwoman for the 2015 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, to be held August 3-9 at Firestone Country Club (South Course) in Akron, Ohio. With the announcement, Albanese becomes the first female honorary chairperson in tournament history.

"Virginia Albanese is the ideal person to be named as our honorary chairwoman," said Bridgestone Invitational Executive Director Don Padgett. "She embodies the values of philanthropy, leadership, community involvement, corporate success and selflessness, the qualities this position honors. As a member of the Bridgestone Invitational Championship Council, Virginia has been a long time support of the tournament and also helped to develop the event's highly successful Executive Women's Day that has sold out the last three years."

Albanese is president and CEO of FedEx Custom Critical, a leading North American expedited freight carrier and truckload brokerage located in Green, Ohio. Albanese joined FedEx Custom Critical in 1986 and quickly worked her way up the ranks, holding director positions in various departments where she placed a strong focus on organizational culture, operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. In each role, Albanese used technology to improve productivity. By streamlining processes she has improved efficiency and enhanced communication capabilities to move the company forward.

"The Akron community takes a great deal of pride in being the host city for the Bridgestone Invitational," Albanese said. "The Bridgestone Invitational does so much in the way of philanthropy in Akron, so it is a tremendous honor to assume the role of honorary chairwoman."

Virginia has been recognized for her leadership both at work and in the community. In recent years she was named Executive of The Year by the Society of Marketing Executives International (2014) and awarded the CEO Excellence Award by the Illinois Diversity Council (2014). She has also been inducted into the Northeastern Ohio Business Hall of Fame (2013), received the Women of Power Award from the Akron Urban League (2013), and also received the Leadership Excellence Award from the National Diversity Council (2014). She has been named to the Inside Business Power 100 list for the past four years (2011-2014) and the Crain's Cleveland Business Power 150 (2014). In addition, FedEx Custom Critical has been recognized as one of Northeast Ohio's top workplaces, receiving the NorthCoast 99 Award 13 times and making the The Plain Dealer's Top Workplaces list in 2013.

Albanese earned a Bachelor of Science degree ('85) and an executive MBA ('95) from Kent State University. In 2013 was appointed by Ohio Governor John Kasich to the Kent State University Board of Trustees. She is past chair of The Boys and Girls Club of the Western Reserve and past chair of the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce. She also serves on a number of other boards to benefit the Northeast Ohio community, including Akron Children's Hospital and the Akron Community Foundation.

The Bridgestone Invitational annually donates approximately $1 million to charities throughout Northeast Ohio. Over the years, professional golf at Firestone Country Club has donated more than $23 million to worthy causes in Northeast Ohio. The signature charities of the Bridgestone Invitational are Akron Children's Hospital and University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital.

Monday, 12 January 2015 10:07

Knight Foundation Finalists Announced

Seven local projects made the cut for the 126 finalists in the Knight Foundation inaugural Knight Cities Challenge. The program targets innovative proposals in communities traditionally served by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The Knight family was the driving force behind the Akron Beacon Journal. Winners will be announced this spring for a share of a $5 million dollar pool. 
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(Knight Foundation) The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today announced 126 finalists in the first Knight Cities Challenge, a national call for new ideas to make the 26 communities where Knight invests more vibrant places to live and work.
The challenge received more than 7,000 submissions. Submissions came from many public and government organizations, as well as design experts, urban planning organizations and individuals focused on making their cities more successful.
Each of the ideas focuses on one or more of three drivers of city success:
- Talent: Ideas that help cities attract and keep the best and brightest
- Opportunity: Ideas that expand economic prospects and break down divides
- Engagement: Ideas that spur connection and civic involvement
All 26 Knight communities are represented in the pool of finalists. An list of Akron winners is below. Winners, who will receive a share of $5 million, will be announced in spring 2015.
Akron, Ohio
- Akron League of Creative Interventionists Headquarters by the League of Creative Interventionists (Submitted by David Swirsky): Establishing a space for the creative community to hold meetings, workshops and programs, and brainstorm interventions designed to break down barriers between diverse populations.
- Better Block International Hostel and AirBnB by Team Better Block (Submitted by Jason Roberts): Strengthening the city’s sense of place by turning a vacant property into a cultural hub and hostel centered on a specific immigrant population.
- Chickadee Society (Submitted by Chris Horne): Fostering a love for Akron through a subscription service that delivers Rubber City goods and opportunities to enjoy area attractions and events.
- Downtown Babysitters (Submitted by Kurtiss Hare): Creating a new urban babysitting service in Akron to serve the needs of young talent and encourage more activity in Akron’s downtown core.
- Emerging City Leaders by Benwood Foundation (Submitted by Lori Quillen): Cultivating the next generation of civic leadership through cross-sector exchange between young leaders in Akron and Chattanooga, Tenn.
- Flashbulb by Bettie Street Block Watch and the University of Akron (Submitted by Carolyn Behrman): Taking the energy of Akron’s PorchRokr festival to diverse neighborhoods by creating a mobile entertainment vehicle to travel around the city hosting festive gatherings where people transform vacant lots into flower gardens.
- Weekend Student Popup Space by Kent State University and the University of Akron (Submitted by Kate Harmon): Creating a student-run pop-up space that will serve as a meeting spot for the community, spark collaboration and help launch young entrepreneurs.
Monday, 12 January 2015 09:12

LeBron, Cavs Lead NBA Sales

The Cavaliers may not be winning without LeBron on the court -- but they're winning without him at the cash register. For the fifth time in his career, LeBron James jerseys are the top-seller for the NBA. Two of those years came as a Cavalier, the other three as a member of the Miami Heat.

Kyrie Irving comes in sixth. The Cavaliers gear also leads the league, the first time the Cavs made the top 10 list since they placed at number 3 in 2010.

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(NBA) Ten-time NBA All-Star LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers secured the top spots as the NBA’s Most Popular Jersey and Team Merchandise, respectively, based on overall sales from adidas and NBAStore.com from October 2014 through December 2014.

This marks the fifth consecutive time James has claimed the No. 1 position on the list and his second such honor as a member of the Cavaliers. At No. 2 on the list is Golden State Warriors sensation Stephen Curry, whose successful season propelled him from the No. 7 spot. Rounding out the top five are the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant (No. 3), the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant (No. 4), and the Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose (No. 5).Additional highlights:

The Cavaliers last appeared on the team merchandise list in 2010 at No. 3.

Top 10 Most Popular NBA Jerseys:

1. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

2. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

3. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

4. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

5. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls

6. Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers

7. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks

8. Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs

9. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat

10. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers

Top 10 Most Popular Team Merchandise:

1. Cleveland Cavaliers

2. Chicago Bulls

3. Golden State Warriors

4. Los Angeles Lakers

5. San Antonio Spurs

6. Oklahoma City Thunder

7. New York Knicks

8. Miami Heat

9. Boston Celtics

10. Los Angeles Clippers

Sunday, 11 January 2015 13:34

UPDATE Medina City Issues Water Alert

UPDATE The all clear has been sounded by Medina after Avon Lake Regional Water System officials lifted the water restrictions spurred by icing along the system's Lake Erie intake pipes. The City thanks residents but noted in the event of any future icing issues restrictions could be re-imposed.

(City of Medina) Please be advised, effective immediately, the water conservation order that was issued January 11, 2015 has been lifted. Avon Lake Regional Water has been able to send water to replenish the city's tanks. We sincerely appreciate the patience and understanding of our businesses and residents. Should the City experience any further interuption in water supplied to us from Avon Lake Regional Water due to icing conditions in Lake Erie, we will provide a new notice of water conservation request based on conditions at that time. Please check the city website for updated postings and information.

Previous coverage:

The frigid tempertures are freezing ice around the water intakes at Avon Lake, and that's a big problem for customers of that city's water system -- including Medina. 

Customers are being asked to restrict their use of water until water supply tanks can be refilled. The water system asks that supplies be used only for drinking, cooking, personal washing and toilet flushing. Companies are also being asked to curtain their operations requiring the use of water until the situation improves.

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(City of Medina) Please be advised that the water provided to Medina City has been interrupted by Avon Lake Regional Water.

The City was notified at 8:25 a.m. this morning that the water intakes in Lake Erie were freezing over and Avon Lake Municipal Staff are working to open them.

We were requested late this morning to issue a conservation order. The City has notified the critical water users in the City and also request City users to curtail and restrict the use of water as much as possible until Avon Lake is able to send water to replenish the City's tanks.

The City will send out another press release lifting the ban upon tanks being adquately replenished. Water is to be used only for drinking, cooking, personal washing, and flushing of toilets. Industry has been requested to curtail operations requiring water use to preserve water supplies for human consumption and to hold a reserve of water for possible fire defense. All help and conservation is appreciated.

Sunday, 11 January 2015 11:35

New Franklin Fire Investigated

No injuries reported but New Franklin fire and police are investigating an apparent arson at a vacant home on Lieb Drive in the early morning hours Sunday.
A police patrolman spotted smoke and fire at the home; New Franklin FD and Clinton FD firefighters responded and brought the fire under control. Damages were estimated at $10,000.
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(New Franklin Fire Department) The City of New Franklin Fire Department responded to a residential structure fire at 637 Lieb Dr., on January 11, 2015 at 12:55 a.m.
A New Franklin police officer on patrol noticed smoke and fire near the front door of the vacant struture. On arrival New Franklin firefighters extinguished a fire in the entryway.
Damage is estimated at $10,000. 
New Franklin firefighters were assisted by Clinton Village firefighters.
The fire has been determined to be suspicious, and New Franklin Fire and Police are investigating. 
Tuesday, 06 January 2015 07:38

Welcome Back, Old Man

You didn't think Old Man Winter was staying away from Northeast Ohio for long, did you? The mild December giving way to arctic cold and lake effect snow advisories this week and the first real test of winter driving skills this morning.

Akron Snow and Ice Control says they've had 51 trucks on local roadways since the snow and ice started falling around 1:00 this morning. The snow buildup isn't the problem on local roads, however, it's the cold with temperatures in the teens making it harder for salt to work it's way into any ice.

A couple dozen school delays and closings in the greater Akron area, most in Stark and Wayne Counties but conditions were far worse to the southeast, especially from Wooster to Mansfield. Many schools were also closed in the Columbus area by the winter storm, which is paking more of a snowy punch for central Ohio.

A Lake Effect Snow Advisory was issued for the period starting at 9:00 tonight through 9:00 Wednesday evening.

The National Weather Service forecasts even more bitter cold dropping in across the region thanks to an Alberta Clipper bringing cold arctic air from Canada and highs only in the teens; gusting winds are also dropping the wind chills felt on skin to the minus ten range. 

Monday, 05 January 2015 08:41

AUDIO Akron's Carney Slammed Surfing

Black Keys drummer and Akron native Pat Carney is recovering from a dislocated shoulder while on vacation in the Carribean, after a wave sent him crashing to the sea bottom.

Doctors on St. Bart's were able to popped the right shoulder back into it's socket while Carney was knocked out but he was still in a lot of pain. He'll get more information from doctors when he gets home to Nashville with a Wednesday appointment. Carney and the Black Keys were in St. Barts for a private concert and decided to stay on the island for a few days to enjoy the weather and beaches.

Patrick's father Jim tells 1590 WAKR's Ray Horner they still aren't sure of the impact on band's upcoming European tour or whether Patrick will be able to play when the Black Keys are part of a line up scheduled for the 2015 MusiCares tribute to Bob Dylan in Los Angeles. 




Monday, 05 January 2015 08:10

Barber Is King Of The Vault!

Akron pole vaulter set a new record Saturday -- 19 feet three inches, busting the national record of 19 inches, two and a quarter inches set back in 1999. But it won't count. Since he was competing as an "unattached" jumper in what was considered a warm-up it may not go into the record books as the new standard to beat. 

Barber has a chance to repeat his feat for the record books this weekend at the 3rd Annual Akron Pole Vault competition on the UA campus.

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(University of Akron) Akron junior pole vaulter Shawn Barber (Kingwood, Texas) jumped at record heights on Saturday as he established a new career-high mark of 19-3 (5.87 meters) to win the Texas Expo Vault competition.
Competing as an unattached jumper at the meet, Barber eclipsed the old collegiate indoor pole vault record of 19-2 1/4 (5.85 meters) set by Jacob Davis of Texas on March 6, 1999 in Indianapolis, Ind.
By virtue of participating as an unattached jumper, it is believed the record will not officially go down in the record books as the new standard for collegiate pole vaulters.
The mark did shatter Barber's previous career-best mark of 18-10 1/4 (5.75 meters) set at the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 15, 2014.
"Shawn had a great fall of training," Akron head track and field coach Dennis Mitchell commented. "This was a warm-up meet for the indoor season and was a great way to get ready for Pole Vault Convention. He will get pushed by three of the other best jumpers in the United States. This includes his rival Sam Kendricks, the USATF/NCAA Outdoor Champion, who was second down at the Texas Expo (18-9) to Barber. Kendricks does not like to lose, neither does Barber. Whenever those two get together amazing things happen. You do not want to miss this show."
Barber will return to action this Saturday, Jan. 10, competing in a 13-person field at the third annual Akron Pole Vault Convention running from Friday, Jan. 9, through Sunday, Jan. 11, at the Stile Athletics Field House. The 13-man and 12-women elite competition is scheduled to get underway at 7 p.m.
Sunday, 04 January 2015 11:27

North Canton Issues Road Rage Warning

Police in North Canton caution motorists to renew their sensitivity on the highway after a pair of road rage incidents handled by officers. One left a motorist with injuries bad enough to warrant a trip to the hospital.
North Canton police reported the injury came on Friday when a driver was assaulted and suffered facial injuries. In the other case on Saturday, tailgating and speeding apparently led to one driver cutting the other off and the threat by one of the drivers to shoot the other.
Police say road rage can be avoided by staying out of the path of aggressive drivers, refusing to engage or participate in aggressive behavior, taking defensive measures such as locking doors and rolling up windows and calling police whenever confronted. 
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(North Canton PD) The North Canton Police Department encourages motorists to travel safely upon city streets. However, police officers have responded to two incidents of “road rage” within the last two days. 
On Friday, January 2, 2015 an incident involved a physical assault of one driver who had to be transported to a local hospital with serious injuries to the face as result from a physical assault. 
On Saturday, January 3, 2015 another incident involved one motorist threatening to shoot another motorist. Both incidents of aggressive driving involved elements of tailgating, speeding, and cutting the other driver off. 
Therefore the North Canton Police Department is issuing this public safety message in hope that any more incidents of road rage can be avoided.
How can you avoid a confrontation with these types of people on the road? The National Highway Transportation and Safety Agency recommends the following tips to avoid being a victim of road rage:
• Make every attempt to get out of the way of an aggressive driver.
• Put your pride in the back seat. Do not challenge drivers by speeding up or trying to prevent them from  getting in your lane.
• Wear your seat belt.
• Avoid eye contact. Eye contact can sometimes enrage an aggressive driver.
• Ignore obscene gestures from other drivers, and never respond in kind. According to the AAA Foundation,  "Obscene gestures have gotten people shot, stabbed, or beaten in every state."
• Use your horn sparingly. Stressed-out motorists are often sent over the edge by a supposedly rude honk, an  event that has been linked to scores of shootings.
• Lock your car doors and, when in town, keep the windows and sunroof only partially open. 
• Report aggressive drivers to the police or highway patrol.
• If an aggressive driver gets in an accident, stop at a safe distance from the scene, wait for police, and report  the driving behavior that you witnessed.
• If you're pursued by an angry motorist, never go home -- drive to a police station or another place where you can get help.
Aside from steering clear of hostile drivers, the AAA Foundation suggests avoiding the kind of mistakes that have provoked mentally and emotionally disturbed drivers -- and others -- to attack hapless motorists. 
Here are steps the foundation suggests to avoid drawing the wrath of bullies:
• Don't block the passing lane.
• Stay a safe distance behind the car in front of you -- don't tailgate.
• Always signal before you switch lanes, and make sure you don't cut anyone off.
• Avoid the right-hand lane if you're not turning right.
• Park with care -- don't take up more than one space, and look behind you before backing up.
• Don't park in the handicapped zone unless you're disabled.
• Keep your headlights on "low." If it's dark and you need high beams, dim them for oncoming traffic.
• Don't flash your high beams at other motorists to punish them.
• Don't block the road while talking to someone. As the AAA Foundation observes dryly, "Dozens of  shootings suggest that this behavior irritates a lot of people."
• Don't get distracted by your cell phone.
• Refrain from displaying bumper stickers, flags, and other messages that might easily infuriate someone, such as an "IM RICH" license plate.
As tempting as it may be, avoid the urge to engage in any exchange with road “ragers” or, worse yet, teach them a lesson. 
Meeting road rage with road rage is the worst thing you could do. If you look at them and respond, it will only make them madder and you more stressed. If someone pulls up to you and starts yelling or gesturing, just let them blow off steam.
The North Canton Police Department remains vigilant in targeting aggressive driving actions regarding specific traffic laws, such as speeding, improper lane changes, and following too closely, or other forms of reckless driving behavior, in order to keep motorists from becoming a victim of road rage.
However, law enforcement cannot do this successfully without the broad acceptance of the public to obey our city and state
motor vehicle laws. 
Sunday, 04 January 2015 11:17

Portage Robber May Have Hit Again

Streetsboro police are looking for an armed robber who hit the Circle K convenience and gas station at State Route 43 and Frost Road, and it may not be the first time he's pulled a Portage County heist.
He was wearing a mask and a hoodie, but police say the clerk described him as a white man with blond hair and blue eyes.
Police say the man showed a handgun then fled on foot with cash. A police dog trailed him to a location on Frost Road, where it appears he got away in a vehicle.
On New Year's Eve another heist closed out 2014 in Portage County; Sheriff's Deputies are trying to collect tips on his whereabouts.
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(Streetsboro PD) On Saturday evening at 1042pm, SPD officers responded to an armed robbery at the Circle K at SR43 and Frost Rd (9913 SR43).  
A male entered the store, displayed a black handgun then left the store on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash.  He was last seen heading south on SR43.  An SPD K9 tracked him back to Frost Rd where it appears he left in a vehicle.
The clerk described him as a white male, 6'0" - 6'2", 185lbs, blue eyes, blond hair, wearing a black outer sweatshirt over a light gray hooding, dark jeans, a black mask and black gloves.
This robbery may be connected with other similar robberies in the area over the past few days.  Anyone with information is asked to call the Streetsboro Police Department at 330-626-4976.