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
A shocking confession: I like RubberDucks. Enough to think it's time to make a change up north.
There's been plenty of discussion since Amani Abraham first reported last week on the trademark images and information she found, giving a preview of Tuesday's announcement by Akron Baseball Llc. chief Ken Babby. No more Akron Aeros, the name picked to help showcase Ohio's aviation history. Henceforth, we were Ducks. RubberDucks.
Aeros beat blimps. I know, I've been tagged with blimp and zeppelin my entire oversized life. But try explaining "Aeros" to friends from around the country. Honestly, when you say Wright Brothers most folks think Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Goodyear Blimp? Akron. Aeros? Houston hockey franchise in the 70s featuring Gordie Howe.
I won't even start on trying to explain why Orbit is a cat.
We'll have similar fast-talking to get people around the country to understand RubberDucks isn't just a cute play on Mighty Ducks, Donald Duck or even Howard the Duck. It's not just the yellow bathtub ducks charities love to float around fundraising, or even the giant tub duck that recently called Pittsburgh home. For those of us in Akron, we finally have something that represents a proud history as America's Rubber City.
It's been a moniker lost in the flurry of rebranding Akron into something else; we'd like to believe we can get away with "City of Invention" or even "Inventor's Hall of Fame City" -- that one didn't last beyond the subsidies -- but we are and always will be the "Rubber Capital of the World."
The powers that be might poo-poo using tires for symbols to rival Cleveland's guitars, opting instead for fiberglass ponies as they did a few years ago. We still display the Marconi Pony in the lobby of our Rubber City Radio Group headquarters. It's cool, a nice piece of art. But "Akron Pony" isn't exactly a world-wide brand.
We might want to try and distance our public selves from the image of smokey skies, belching out the prosperity of being the world's tire makers. That was when anything to do with rubber, plastics or polymers beat a path to our door. The skies are a lot cleaner these days, and Akron is still a place to be if your vision of the future includes polymers. Club owner Ken Babby is no dummy, and he gets the magic of marketing: paying homage to Akron's rubber heritage while at the same time coming out with a character with so many different ways to attract young fans and logo hunters should prove a good strategy when it's time for Akron to show our colors and buy new merchandise.
Think this sort of thing doesn't work? Ask fans of the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, the affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. They didn't get that name because they were snorting around Pennsylvania hillsides for truffles; it celebrates the Valley's rich history of steelmaking. As in "pig iron." Or consider the Montgomery Biscuits, the Alabama affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, where they shoot biscuits from air guns into the stands. There are plenty of fun, kitschy team names celebrating heritage and family fun spread across baseball, hockey and basketball leagues.
And it really doesn't have to be offensive, either. Which brings me to the Cleveland Indians.
I've been a member of the Wahoo Fan Club ever since my father decided to uproot the family from the east coast and seek a better life in northeast Ohio. Little did we know we'd be leaving behind America's urban center for a region that, to be honest, was on the decline when we arrived in the 60s and has been trying to keep its head above the tide of recession and depression ever since.
Throughout that time, the Chief was a standard in my baseball-loving family: we were in the Tribe, and proud of it, even while witnessing some of the worst baseball ever played.
Even when the tide turned in the 90s to pack Jacobs Field with hundreds of consecutive sellouts and celebration of championship caliber teams, I remained true to my worship of Wahoo. I was glad we quickly got away from the horrible caricature of the grinning Chief from the 40s; I told myself the criticism of the face that looked back at me from my caps, jackets, shirts and bumper stickers was O.K. I rationalized it was a tribute, not an insult, to a class of people and even pointed to the popularity of the Indians Chief image in foreign lands.
It's time to reconsider. This coming from someone who is about as far from politically correct as one can be and still have the job of working in the media.
Times have changed, and one would hope for the better. Unlike the Akron RubberDucks, I don't advocate a name change although there are those who think we'll only have clean hands with a clean break from Indians. I'm not sold the name itself is an epithet, although I'd like to hear from those who disagree. At least we should listen to them.
What is pretty clear to me is the image of Chief Wahoo is past not only it's prime but also stands as a graphic throwback to another era. If Cincinnati and Chicago can represent with a "C" then the current "Block C" for Cleveland is good enough for me. The images we use to support our teams should reflect fun, sportsmanship, history and even respect for the game, players and fans. Unlike the Washington Redskins, the Indians don't seem to carry the burden of overt racism with the name.
At least, that's what we've been telling ourselves. I have a hard time making that argument to friends who are Native American, or those who find themselves classified as "minorities" these days.
We know how to do this in northeast Ohio; ask anyone who snorts with disdain over an elf representing the Cleveland Browns. In the Akron sports market we embrace a kangaroo and a snarly bird called a Golden Flash. We support Grizzlies, Fighting Irish, Fighting Scots, Golden Knights, Minutemen, Warriors, Hornets and Bees.
I suppose I could crack a joke about Wasps in Hudson at this point, but the Explorers seem to have things well in hand with an 8-and-1 season so far. There are Blue Devils and Purple Raiders and Red Riders. Rough Riders, too. We are surrounded by Bulldogs, Falcons, Tigers and even Terriers.
Somehow we are able to enjoy what sports has to offer without offending entire classes of people with a single image. Allowing Chief Wahoo to retire at this point (he has, after all, been working the gig since 1951) and send him off with a gold watch and thanks for more than 60 years on the job would be appropriate.
Just as other teams have moved on, so too will Akron Aeros purists. So too will Chief Wahoo fans.
2013 continues to be a great year for Goodyear.
The Akron-based tiremaker releasing third quarter results today with high earnings reported on sales of $5 billion dollars, down slightly from a year ago. Operating income was up more than $431 million dollars thanks largely to more favorable materials prices. Overall net income set a third quarter record at $166 million, up from $110 million the same time last year.
- - -
(Goodyear) The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company today reported higher earnings for the third quarter of 2013.
"Our third quarter results, announced just weeks after our recent Investor Day, demonstrate continued sustainable earnings growth and the type of disciplined execution needed to deliver on our targets in 2013 and beyond," said Richard J. Kramer, chairman and chief executive officer.
"As the industry continues to recover, we see strong volume growth in the segments we are targeting," he added. "While we continue to be disciplined in our approach, we are seeing growth in unit volumes, including in our North America business, driven by the Goodyear brand."
All four of Goodyear's regional businesses achieved higher operating income in the quarter compared to the year-ago period, with North America posting record third quarter operating income. Three businesses posted higher tire unit volumes than last year.
"We now expect to see record segment operating income of more than $1.5 billion in 2013, and continue to target 10 percent to 15 percent annual growth in segment operating income through 2016. As previously announced, we will take the first steps in our capital allocation plan in the fourth quarter with our reinstated quarterly dividend," Kramer said. Additionally, the company continues to target positive cash flow, excluding pension pre-funding, through 2016.
Goodyear's third quarter 2013 sales were $5.0 billion, compared to $5.3 billion a year ago. Third quarter 2013 sales reflect $82 million in higher tire unit volumes, more than offset by $178 million in lower sales in other tire-related businesses, most notably a decrease in the price and volume of third-party chemical sales; $89 million in lower price/mix, despite continued favorable mix; and $77 million in unfavorable foreign currency translation. Tire unit volumes totaled 42.6 million, up 2 percent from 2012.
The company reported segment operating income of $431 million in the third quarter of 2013. This was up 24 percent from the year-ago quarter, reflecting favorable price/mix net of raw materials of $87 million (excluding raw material cost savings), lower unabsorbed overhead of $18 million due to higher production levels and $14 million in higher tire unit volumes, partially offset by $40 million in higher SAG expenses and $10 million in unfavorable foreign currency translation. See the note at the end of this release for further explanation and a segment operating income reconciliation table.
Goodyear's third quarter 2013 net income available to common shareholders was $166 million (62 cents per share), a third quarter record and up 51 percent from $110 million (41 cents per share) in the 2012 quarter. All per share amounts are diluted.
The 2013 third quarter included total charges of $19 million (7 cents per share) due to rationalizations, asset write-offs and accelerated depreciation and gains of $2 million (1 cent per share) on asset sales. All amounts are after taxes and minority interest.
The 2012 third quarter included total charges of $32 million (12 cents per share) due to rationalizations, asset write-offs and accelerated depreciation; $6 million (2 cents per share) due to pension settlements in the United Kingdom; and $3 million (1 cent per share) due to discrete tax charges; and gains of $5 million (2 cents per share) from asset sales; and $4 million (1 cent per share) in insurance recoveries related to flooding in Thailand. All amounts are after taxes and minority interest.
See the table at the end of this release for a list of significant items impacting the 2013 and 2012 quarters.
Business Segment Results
North America Third Quarter Nine Months
(in millions) 2013 2012 2013 2012
Tire Units 15.8 15.6 45.4 46.8
Sales $2,186 $2,404 $6,553 $7,352
Segment Operating Income 161 130 492 398
Segment Operating Margin 7.4% 5.4% 7.5% 5.4%
North America's third quarter 2013 sales decreased 9 percent from last year to $2.2 billion. Sales reflect a $170 million decline in sales in other tire-related businesses, most notably a decrease in the price and volume of third-party chemical sales. The impact of increased tire unit volumes was more than offset by lower price/mix. Original equipment unit volume was up 5 percent. Replacement tire shipments were flat.
Third quarter 2013 segment operating income of $161 million was a 24 percent improvement over the prior year and a third quarter record. Segment operating income was positively impacted by favorable price/mix net of raw materials of $36 million, decreased conversion costs of $7 million and increased tire volume of $2 million. This was partially offset by $15 million in higher SAG expenses.
Europe, Middle East and Africa Third Quarter Nine Months
(in millions) 2013 2012 2013 2012
Tire Units 16.7 16.3 46.4 48.5
Sales $1,752 $1,748 $4,936 $5,282
Segment Operating Income 115 105 197 214
Segment Operating Margin 6.6% 6.0% 4.0% 4.1%
Europe, Middle East and Africa's third quarter sales increased $4 million from last year to $1.8 billion. Sales reflect a 3 percent increase in tire unit volume and favorable foreign currency translation of $42 million, which was partially offset by lower price/mix. Original equipment unit volume was up 11 percent. Replacement tire shipments were flat.
Third quarter 2013 segment operating income of $115 million was 10 percent above the prior year. Higher tire unit volumes of $8 million, favorable price/mix net of raw materials of $8 million and $7 million in favorable foreign currency translation more than offset $8 million in higher SAG expenses, the $3 million impact of higher conversion costs and $3 million in lower earnings in other tire-related businesses.
Latin America Third Quarter Nine Months
(in millions) 2013 2012 2013 2012
Tire Units 4.5 4.7 13.5 13.3
Sales $527 $520 $1,571 $1,544
Segment Operating Income 89 49 231 162
Segment Operating Margin 16.9% 9.4% 14.7% 10.5%
Latin America's third quarter sales increased 1 percent from last year to $527 million. Sales reflect improved price/mix and higher sales in other tire-related businesses of $11 million partially offset by $75 million in unfavorable foreign currency translation and a 4 percent decrease in tire unit volume. Original equipment unit volume was down 21 percent, reflecting the company's selective fitment strategy. Replacement tire shipments were up 6 percent.
Third quarter segment operating income of $89 million was up 82 percent from a year ago. Price/mix improvements of $79 million, including a favorable shift from original equipment to replacement volumes, positively impacted segment operating income and lower raw material costs added $8 million. Segment operating income was negatively impacted by higher conversion costs of $27 million, $10 million in unfavorable currency translation, $10 million in higher SAG expenses and $4 million in lower tire unit volume.
Asia Pacific Third Quarter Nine Months
(in millions) 2013 2012 2013 2012
Tire Units 5.6 5.2 16.3 15.4
Sales $537 $592 $1,689 $1,769
Segment Operating Income 66 64 241 202
Segment Operating Margin 12.3% 10.8% 14.3% 11.4%
Asia Pacific's third quarter sales decreased $55 million from last year to $537 million. Sales reflect an 8 percent increase in tire unit volume, offset by reduced price/mix, $39 million in unfavorable foreign currency translation and $12 million in lower sales in other tire-related businesses. Original equipment unit volume was up 11 percent. Replacement tire shipments were up 5 percent.
Third quarter segment operating income of $66 million was up 3 percent from last year. Segment operating income was positively impacted by favorable price/mix net of raw materials of $15 million, lower factory start-up costs of $13 million and $8 million in higher tire unit volumes, which more than offset $7 million in higher SAG expenses, $6 million in unfavorable foreign currency translation, $5 million in higher conversion costs and $4 million in lower earnings from other tire-related businesses.
Goodyear's sales for the first nine months of 2013 were $14.8 billion, down 8 percent from the 2012 period. Sales reflect $487 million in lower sales in other tire-related businesses, most notably third party chemical sales in North America; $252 million in unfavorable foreign currency translation; $230 million in lower tire unit volumes; and $170 million in lower price/mix. Tire unit volumes totaled 121.6 million, down 2 percent from 2012.
The company's nine-month segment operating income of $1.2 billion was up 19 percent from last year. Compared to the prior year, year-to-date segment operating income reflects favorable price/mix net of raw materials of $338 million (excluding raw material cost savings), which more than offset $107 million in higher unabsorbed overhead costs resulting from lower production; $39 million in unfavorable foreign currency translation; and $35 million in lower tire volume.
Goodyear's year-to-date net income available to common shareholders of $372 million ($1.43 per share) is up from $183 million (73 cents per share) in 2012's first nine months. All per share amounts are diluted.
For the full year of 2013 in North America, Goodyear's industry outlook is unchanged. It expects consumer replacement as well as commercial replacement and commercial original equipment volumes to be at essentially 2012 levels. It expects consumer original equipment volumes to be up approximately 5 percent.
For the full year in Europe, Middle East and Africa, Goodyear's industry outlook is unchanged, except for consumer original equipment. The company now expects consumer original equipment volumes to be flat to down 5 percent. It expects consumer replacement to be at essentially 2012 levels. It expects commercial original equipment volumes to be flat to up 5 percent and commercial replacement to be up about 5 percent.
The Akron killer who argues he should be spared lethal injection because he was abused by his father didn't win sympathy from the Ohio Parole Board.
Ronald Phillips, 39, has spent the past 20 years on death row for the rape and murder of his girlfriend's three year old daughter, Sheila Marie Evans. Prosecutors argued the evidence was overwhelming as to the brutality of Phillips' crime, including more than 100 bruises and injuries to the toddler.
Phillips is scheduled to be the first Ohio inmate to die under the state's new execution protocol on November 14, 2013. Governor Kasich has the final call on whether Phillips deserves clemency.
- - -
(Summit County Prosecutor) Summit County Prosecuting Attorney Sherri Bevan Walsh today announced that the Ohio Parole Board unanimously voted to recommend convicted murderer Ronald Phillips be denied clemency. Phillips’ clemency request and the Board’s recommendation now go to Governor John Kasich, who makes the final decision to grant or deny clemency.
In 1993, a jury found Phillips, then 19, guilty of Aggravated Murder, Felonious Sexual Penetration and three counts of Rape. In January of that year, Phillips brutally assaulted and raped three-year-old Sheila Marie Evans. Evans died as result. Among her injuries were severe trauma to her internal organs and more than 125 bruises to her face, torso, arms, legs and genitalia.
“According to the Coroner’s report, Sheila Marie Evans was beaten and assaulted for a lengthy period of time, and she suffered terribly for at least two days before she died,” said Prosecutor Walsh. “Not one member of the Parole Board bought Phillips’ last-ditch effort. I hope Governor Kasich follows the recommendation of the Ohio Parole Board and denies Phillips clemency.”
In its recommendation against clemency, the Board called the repeated beating and rape of Sheila Marie Evans “clearly among the worst of the worst capital crimes.” Furthermore, the Board found that, although Phillips’ childhood may have been dysfunctional, there is no evidence to prove his recent claims of sexual abuse.
Phillip’s execution is scheduled for November 14, 2013.
The trail of suspected Canton killer Julius Webster ended in Parma yesterday afternoon as federal, state and local police found the founding member of the Heartless Felons Street Gang hiding out and then stopped him while he was in a vehicle.
Webster, 27, was wanted in connection with the slaying of Curtis Leon Marks, Jr., 31, of Cleveland in August and is a suspect in two other Stark County murders. He was also wanted on escape charges and parole violation charges in Cuyahoga County.
(U.S. Marshal's Service) Today, United States Marshal Pete Elliott and Regional Director Todd Ishee of the Adult Parole Authority announce the arrest of one of northern Ohio’s most wanted violent fugitives.
On Wednesday October 23rd 2013 at approximately 4:30 PM, the U.S. Marshals led Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task arrested Julius Webster age 27, on Knollwood Drive in Parma, Ohio. Webster was wanted for the robbery and murder of 31-year-old Curtis Leon Marks Jr. on August 29th, 2013. The murder took place outside of a bar on the corner of 70th and Superior Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio.
Additionally, Webster was wanted by the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office for escape, the Adult Parole Authority for a parole violation and is a suspect in two separate homicides in Canton, Ohio. Webster was a founding member and leader of the Heartless Felons Street Gang and had been previewed on multiple occasions throughout multiple cities as the United States Marshals Fugitive of the Week. The task force has been pursuing Webster endlessly for the last two months.
The task force developed information that Webster was staying at an apartment on Knollwood Dr. in Parma. Officers set up surveillance around the apartment. At around 4:30 a male fitting the description of Webster was seen exiting the building and getting into a vehicle. Members of the task force followed Webster a short distance before stopping the vehicle. The vehicle was surrounded at the corner of Knollwood and Big Creek Dr. in Parma. Webster was taken into custody and transported to the Cleveland Police Department without incident.
U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott said, “Great team work by the Deputy United States Marshals, The Canton Office of the FBI, the Adult Parole Authority and all the members of the Task Force led to the capture of this violent fugitive. Our streets are much safer today due to the fact that these officers and departments partnered together and never stopped pursuing Webster ending his run as one of northern Ohio’s most wanted”.
Adult Parole Authority Regional Director Todd Ishee said, “We are very proud to be partners with the Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force. Together our men and women of the Task Force are making a tremendous difference every day ridding our streets of many violent fugitives. Partnerships are what brought Webster to Justice.”
An appeal from an Akron man of his death sentence for killing a neighbor falling on deaf ears at the Ohio Supreme Court.
The ruling means Hersie Wesson of Akron remains on Death Row for the 2008 stabbing murder of 81-year old Emil Varhola. Wesson had asked Varhola and his wife if he could wait at their home until a girlfriend arrived; they said yes and Wesson then attacked and stabbed both, stole jewelry and money. 77-year old Mary Varola survived.
(Ohio Supreme Court) The Ohio Supreme Court today upheld the death sentence imposed on Hersie R. Wesson for stabbing 81-year-old Emil Varhola to death in February 2008 during a course of conduct that involved the attempted murder of Emil’s 77-year-old wife, Mary, and the aggravated robbery of the elderly couple in their home.
Justice Terrence O’Donnell wrote the court’s majority opinion reviewing Wesson’s convictions and sentence in this case.
The decision partially affirms and partially reverses the judgment of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas.
In February 2008, Hersie R. Wesson of Akron asked Emil Varhola, 81, and Mary Varhola, 77, if he could wait at their house until his girlfriend’s bus arrived. The Varholas knew Wesson from the neighborhood, and Mr. Varhola and Wesson sometimes talked. The couple accommodated Wesson’s request. Wesson attacked and stabbed Mr. Varhola, beat and stabbed Mrs. Varhola, then stole jewelry and money before fleeing the house.
Wesson waived his right to a jury trial and elected to be tried by a three-judge panel. The judge presiding over the case appointed the other two members of the panel, and the matter proceeded to trial. The panel found Wesson guilty of two counts of aggravated murder, with each count carrying capital specifications for aggravated murder while under detention, aggravated murder as part of a course of conduct involving the purposeful killing of or attempt to kill two or more persons, and aggravated murder while committing aggravated robbery, in addition to two counts of attempted murder, two counts of aggravated robbery, and one count each of having a weapon while under a disability and tampering with evidence. The court sentenced Wesson to death for aggravated murder and to 26 years in prison for the other convictions.
On appeal to the Supreme Court, Wesson urged that the judge presiding over his trial had lacked authority to appoint the other two members of the three-judge panel. Justice O’Donnell noted that pursuant to R.C. 2945.06, when a person charged with a capital offense waives a jury trial, the panel hearing the case shall be composed of three judges, two of whom shall be designated by the presiding judge or chief justice of the common pleas court, and if no one holds either position, then they shall be designated by the chief justice of the Supreme Court.
Justice O’Donnell wrote that the term “presiding judge” refers to the judge who is the presiding judge over a multiple-judge common pleas court, not the judge presiding over a particular trial. “If the General Assembly had intended to allow the judge assigned to preside over a capital murder trial to appoint the other two judges of the three-judge panel, then there would be no need to designate the chief justice of the Supreme Court to appoint the judges when there is neither a presiding judge nor a chief justice of the common pleas court, because there would always be a judge presiding over the capital case,” Justice O’Donnell stated.
“Accordingly, the judge presiding over Wesson’s trial, who was neither the presiding judge nor the chief justice of the Summit County Common Pleas Court, lacked authority to designate the other two members of the panel,” Justice O’Donnell continued. The court, however, rejected Wesson’s argument that his conviction and death sentence should be overturned for this error , noting that he had accepted the trial court’s method of appointing the members of the three-judge panel and forfeited all but plain error. “[H]ere, Wesson makes no argument — and therefore does not demonstrate — that the appointment of different members to the three-judge panel would have changed the outcome of the proceeding.”
Wesson also challenged his conviction for committing aggravated murder while under detention and his convictions for specifications charging that he committed aggravated murder while under detention .
Wesson had been convicted of burglary in 2003 , and the trial court had imposed a three-year discretionary term of postrelease control rather than the mandatory term required by his offense. He was placed on postrelease control upon his release from prison in 2007.
Justice O’Donnell noted that “Wesson’s 2003 sentence failed to impose a mandatory three-year term of postrelease control, and so that part of the 2003 sentence is void.” He further explained that pursuant to State v. Billiter (2012), an offender cannot be convicted of escaping from an improperly imposed term of postrelease control. The court therefore reversed Wesson’s conviction for committing aggravated murder while under detention, the related specifications on this count, and a separate specification for committing murder while under detention on the other aggravated murder count.
The Supreme Court also rejected Wesson’s claims that the indictment was invalid, that his statement to police should have been suppressed, that he had been denied the effective assistance of counsel and the right to present a complete defense, that he had been convicted of allied offenses of similar import, that the admission of victim-impact statements amounted to reversible error, and that the death penalty is unconstitutional. The court then independently reviewed the sentence of death imposed and concluded that the evidence supports the finding that Wesson committed aggravated murder as part of a course of conduct and while committing aggravated robbery. Concluding that these aggravating circumstances outweigh the mitigating factors and that Wesson’s death sentence is proportionate to those upheld in similar cases, the court affirmed the sentence of death.
The court’s majority opinion was joined by Justices Paul E. Pfeifer and Sharon L. Kennedy and by Joseph J. Vukovich of the Seventh District Court of Appeals. Judge Vukovich served as a visiting judge during oral arguments in this case, filling in for Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, who recused herself.
Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger wrote a dissent. Justice Judith L. French wrote separately to concur in part and dissent in part. Justice William M. O’Neill dissented without opinion.
In her dissent, Justice Lanzinger wrote: “I would not find void any portion of Wesson’s 2003 sentence. As the mistake was solely in the court’s exercise of jurisdiction in imposing postrelease control (imposing three years of discretionary, rather than three years of mandatory, postrelease control), the sentence was merely voidable. Since the error was not raised on appeal within 30 days, res judicata applies and Wesson remained under the supervision of the Adult Parole Authority. I also dissent from the majority’s judgment affirming the remaining capital convictions. I would vacate the convictions and remand the case to the trial court for the proper selection of a three-judge panel in this case as precedent demands.”
“[T]he majority’s opinion in this case is yet another example of the inconsistent holdings of this court in cases in which the trial court judge acted contrary to a statutory mandate,” she continued. “The majority reverses Wesson’s conviction for aggravated murder while under detention and for the corresponding specification on Count Two due to a postrelease-control error. So on the one hand, the majority collaterally declares a portion of Wesson’s 2003 sentence void because the trial judge imposed three years of discretionary rather than mandatory postrelease control. Then on the other hand, although the trial judge did not have authority to appoint the other two judges of the three-judge panel in this capital case, the majority affirms Wesson’s remaining capital convictions. Apparently, a postrelease-control error is more important than a procedural error in a capital case. I cannot agree with this inconsistency. I would hold that any error in the court’s exercise of jurisdiction is voidable rather than void.”
Justice French concurred with the majority in all aspects except vacating Wesson’s conviction and specifications for aggravated murder while under detention. She wrote that she agrees with Justice Lanzinger that his 2003 sentence was not void.
The decisions by the Summit County Board of Elections regarding independents running for public office are taking a beating from Ohio's Supreme Court.
On top of a decision ordering former Republican State Senator Kevin Coughlin back on the ballot for Stow Muni Clerk of Courts, the county board has also been ordered to return Darrita Davis to the November 5th ballot in her ward council bid.
On a 4-3 decision the state's highest court ruled basing the decision to disqualify Davis because she voted Democrat in the last Presidential Election Primary wasn't enough to overrule her candidacy as an independent.
(Supreme Court of Ohio) In an expedited election case announced today, the Supreme Court of Ohio ordered the Summit County Board of Elections to include Darrita Davis on the November 5 ballot as an independent candidate for Akron City Council.
The court, in a 4-3 decision, granted Davis’s writ, finding that the board of elections abused its discretion when it disqualified her petition to run as an independent.
The elections board argued that Davis is not an independent because she failed to disaffiliate sufficiently from the Democratic Party. The court today said that the board based its conclusion on only one piece of information – her vote in the Democratic primary for president in March 2012.
“A candidate’s prior voting history, standing alone, cannot be a sufficient basis for disqualifying an independent candidate,” the court wrote. “Disaffiliation by definition presumes a history of support for or membership in a political party. If a candidate’s prior voting record, standing alone, could trump a declaration of disaffiliation, then disaffiliation would never be possible.”
The court also said the board erroneously applied a two-year statutory look-back provision for petition signatures to the separate analysis of disaffiliation under R.C. 3513.257: “The practical effect of the board’s rule is the creation of a de facto ‘sit out’ requirement, whereby candidates who disaffiliate from a political party have to wait at least two years before they may seek office as independents. Nothing in R.C. 3513.257 requires such a result.”
The court found that two donations Davis made to Democratic candidates at different events held little weight, primarily because the donations were made before she declared her candidacy for city council in July 2013. While evidence undermining disaffiliation after a candidate files is not required for a successful challenge to a candidate’s petition, “where the challenge is based solely on prepetition evidence, the evidence needs to be that much more substantial to warrant excluding an otherwise qualified candidate,” the court stated.
“In addition, the board abused its discretion because it fundamentally misconstrued the relevant inquiry,” the court found. “Based on her past voting record, the board informs the court, ‘the Board determined that Relator did not make a good faith attempt to disaffiliate from the Democratic Party.’ But the requirement … is that a candidate must declare her lack of affiliation in good faith, not that she take affirmative action to disaffiliate in order to prove her good faith. In other words, the declaration of disaffiliation can, in some circumstances, be sufficient affirmative action.”
The per curiam (not authored by a specific justice) opinion was joined by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and Justices Paul E. Pfeifer, Sharon L. Kennedy, and William M. O’Neill. Justice Terrence O’Donnell dissented in a written opinion. Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger also dissented, but wrote separately. Justice Judith L. French dissented without opinion.
In his dissent, Justice O’Donnell wrote: “In view of Davis’s voting history and her financial contributions to Democratic candidates in April 2013 and June 2013, the board did not abuse its discretion in concluding that Davis had not in good faith disaffiliated herself from the Democratic Party when she filed her nominating petition to run as an independent candidate.”
In her separate dissent, Justice Lanzinger wrote: “The county boards of elections are given little guidance when asked to determine whether an independent candidate has made a good-faith declaration of disaffiliation. … Because I believe that the Summit County Board of Elections did not act unreasonably under the circumstances, I would deny the writ.”
A state discipline board says Akron Municipal Court Judge Joy Malek Oldfield should be publicly reprimanded for not taking herself off cases involving a public defender she was found in a parked car with in Copley last year.
But the board found inconclusive evidence as to whether Oldfield was engaging in sexual activity with Catherine Loya. It also ruled Oldfield didn't use her title to try to stop police from arresting Loya after they smelled alcohol on her breath.
Loya was eventually moved out of Oldfield's courtroom, but not before Oldfield handled 53 pleas involving Loya's clients.
The Ohio Supreme Court will make a final decision.
UPDATE 9:11 p.m. Police cancelled the Missing Adult Alert for Emmett Hilton, 87, last seen in Olmsted Township. No other details are available.
Earlier coverage: A Missing Adult Alert has been issued by the Olmsted Township Police Department for the following regions: North Central Ohio, Central & East Lakeshore, Northwest Ohio, which includes the following counties: Ashland, Ashtabula, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Geauga, Henry, Huron, Knox, Lake, Lorain, Lucas, Marion, Medina, Morrow, Ottawa, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Williams, Wood, and Wyandot.
Information as of: October 17, 2013 at 6:18 PM
Be on the lookout for a missing adult. On October 16, 2013 at 5:00 AM, Mr. Hilton was last seen at his residence.
The incident took place in Cuyahoga County, OH on Lewis Road in the city of Olmsted Township 44138.
The adult's name is Emmett Hilton and the individual is missing. The adult is a White male, age 87, is 5' 9" tall, weighs 143 lbs., has brown hair, and has brown eyes. Mr. Hilton suffers from confusion and early stages of Dementia. He was last seen headed westbound on Route 20 after he stopped at some one's residence in Huron County on October 17, 2013 at 3:00 PM inquiring to see his wife, who resides at a nursing home. Mr. Hilton was confused and left before local law enforcement arrived.
The vehicle involved is a silver 2002 Toyota Rav4 with OH plate number LTH3.
Call or dial 911 if you see the adult or the vehicle. You can also call 1-866-693-9171 to be transferred directly to the investigating law enforcement agency or to hear the alert information.
Copyright © 2013 AkronNewsNow & Rubber City Radio Group |All Rights Reserved | 1795 West Market Street | Akron, OH 44313 | 330.869.9800