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

Wednesday, 17 December 2014 17:51

AUDIO Cavs, Trades And The NBA

We're not even into the new year and the Cavaliers are making the rumour mill when it comes to trades. Dan Favale of Bleacher Report talks Cavs' possible trade rumors and the Golden State Warriors win streak with Sam Bourquin. Remember the days when the Cavs didn't even FIGURE in trade rumours? 

Saturday, 13 December 2014 08:25

WAKR Charity Auction Benefits Salvation Army

WAKR's just-completed 56th annual Share A Christmas campaign raised $7,500 to help fund local programs of The Salvation Army.

Among the items up for online auction this year were prime seats for Sunday's Browns-Bengals game for Johnny Manziel's NFL first start, along with pregame sideline access and souvenir collectables from the Cleveland Browns.

Other auction packages included Goodyear airship rides, tickets to the sold-out Taylor Swift concert in June, special Cavalier, Indians and RubberDucks game tickets and extras, exclusive behind-the scenes access with the Akron Zoo and a golf package including equipment.

You can still donate through the holiday season to benefit Salvation Army programs in greater Akron through https://donate.salvationarmyusa.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=206.

Saturday, 13 December 2014 06:53

Plusquellic Asks For IRS Probe

More twists and turns on the finances of Mayor Plusquellic's scholarship fund -- a fund that didn't hand out scholarships but did shell out $75,000 for the campaign of the Mayor's doomed bid to sell off city sewers to pay for a city-wide scholarship program. Plusquellic is now asking the IRS to investigate. Critics say the loan runs afoul of regulations governing non-profits.

The Mayor's eight-page letter to the Internal Revenue Service repeats his assertions the loan transferring a large chunk of the scholarship fund's balance in 2008 to the Issue 8 Sewers for Scholarships campaign committee Keep Akron Strong was done on advice it was legal. Plusquellic also maintains the intent remained supporting an effort to provide college scholarships to Akron students.

Plusquellic came under fire from longtime foe Warner Mendenhall, who's asked for investigations into the private non-profit Donald L. Plusquellic Foundation's transfer of the money to a political committee. The Mayor's letter to the IRS was full of the rhetoric and invective Akron voters have become used to on issues involving Plusquellic and Mendenhall. Plusquellic, stung by the defeat of the sewer issue, told supporters the night of the election those who worked against Issue 8 would have a "special place in hell" because of their campaign tactics. The measure failed by an overwhelming margin, and Mendenhall helped lead an unsuccessful recall election targeting Plusquellic afterwards.

Plusquellic's letter to the IRS is attached.

Monday, 08 December 2014 11:52

Copley Man Charged In $17 Million Scam

A Copley man faces federal charges in connection with what official say was a $17 million dollar fraud, a Ponzi scheme using an unregistered oil company. 66-year old Kenneth Grant was named in an "information" -- a charge, not an indictment. Prosecutors say he and others used the gains for real estate and lived high on the hog, including expensive cars and boats.

Editor's note: The U.S. Attorney's office issued a corrected release noting the damages were believed to be $17 million dollars, not $70 million. This story has been updated to reflect the new number.

- - -

(US Attorney's Office) A Copley man was charged in federal court with defrauding about 70 investors out of approximately $17 million, law enforcement officials said.

Kenneth A. Grant, 66, was charged in a criminal information with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and securities fraud and one count of money laundering.

The charges were announced by Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Cleveland Office, and Kathy Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigations, Cincinnati Field Office.

"This case is another sad reminder that so-called investment gurus who make promises of big guaranteed returns should send up red flags," Dettelbach said. "If something seems too good to be true, it usually is."

"Ken Grant callously preyed on the desires of many to make wise investments for a secure future and duped them out of their life savings," Anthony said. "Fraudsters such as Mr. Grant remain a top priority of the FBI."

"Mr. Grant overpromised and then stole his investors' funds. Investment fraud is not a victimless crime," Enstrom said. "IRS Criminal Investigation is proud to bring our forensic accounting skills to this joint venture and help put a stop to this and other types of white collar crime."

Grant and another individual owned and operated KGTA Petroleum, Ltd. Grant and others marketed KGTA as a company that earned profits from buying and selling crude oil and refined fuel products. Grant and others represented to investors that they had relationships with third-party purchasers and investor funds would be used to purchase fuel products at a discount and then resold at substantial profit, according to the information.

KGTA issued investment agreements and promissory notes which offered guaranteed monthly payments up to 5 percent per month or annual payments of approximately 60 percent per year, according to the information. Grant and others – including three registered representatives with PrimeSolutions Securities Inc. in the Akron area – never filed documentation about KGTA with the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to the information.

Grant and others obtained approximately $31 million from about 70 investors between 2010 and 2014 through false and fraudulent pretenses. Grant and others knew KGTA did not have agreements in place to sell oil and fuel, and that investors would not earn 5 percent per month on their investments, according to the information.

Grant and others used investor money for personal expenditures and luxury items including a Mercedes Benz, a boat and mortgage payments on high-end residential property. As a result of the conspiracy, Grant and others defrauded the investors out of approximately $17 million, according to the information.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark S. Bennett and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Derek Kleinmann following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations.

If convicted, the defendants' sentences will be determined by the court after a review of the federal sentencing guidelines and factors unique to the case, including the defendant's prior criminal record (if any), the defendant's role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation.

A criminal information is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Monday, 17 November 2014 10:08

Summa Taps Malone As Strauss Heir

Summa will have a replacement ready to go when longtime CEO Tom Strauss retires at the end of the year. The medical system's Board of Directors are promoting Dr. Thomas Malone to replace Strauss in the top position; Malone has been part of Summa's management as chief operating officer for the Summa Care Delivery System since fall of last year. Malone's charges included operations at Summa hospitals.

- - -

(Summa Health System) The Summa Health System Board of Directors today announced the appointment of Thomas Malone, M.D., MBA, as the System's new president and CEO. He begins in this position on January 1, 2015. Malone replaces longtime Summa CEO Tom Strauss who is retiring at year's end.

Malone, who currently serves as chief operating officer for Summa's Care Delivery System, joined Summa in the fall of 2013 from Michigan's Harper University and Hutzel Women's Hospital, where he was CEO of the 560-bed academic medical center affiliated with Wayne State University. He made an immediate positive impact on the Summa organization and has demonstrated exemplary vision and insight during his time at Summa.

"The CEO Search Committee was uniformly impressed with Dr. Malone's extensive skills and savvy," said Norman Wells, chair of Summa's Board of Directors. "The entire Summa Health System family looks forward to flourishing even more under his leadership."

As COO for the past several months at Summa, Malone has directed all clinical operations of Summa Akron City, St. Thomas, Barberton and Wadsworth-Rittman hospitals. He has led many key strategic initiatives and has quickly established himself as a strong leader who welcomes complex challenges.

"I am honored to have been selected to lead such an incredible organization," said Malone. "Healthcare is evolving so rapidly, and all of us at Summa are up to the challenges. I look forward to continuing our successes."

In addition to his previous CEO role at Harper, Malone was Chief Medical Officer at the Detroit Medical Center where he led the implementation of an EMR system for all seven hospitals and was responsible for resident medical education, managed care contracting and employed physician practices.

"Dr. Malone is the right choice at the right time to lead the organization," said Strauss, who has led Summa for the past 15 years. "From the moment Tom arrived here last year, he embraced challenges head-on and quickly showed the organization what a great leader he is."

Malone received his undergraduate degree from John Carroll University and his medical degree from The Ohio State University. He completed his residency in pediatrics at Columbus Children's Hospital and his perinatal-neonatal fellowship at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. He also holds a Master of Business Administration from Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana.

Malone, 57, is a native of Niles, Ohio. He and his wife, Megan, live in Cuyahoga Falls.

Monday, 17 November 2014 08:25

First Major Snow Closes Schools

Schools closing or going on delay plans this morning as the entire region remains under a Winter Weather Advisory until 3:00 this afternoon. Forecasters expect another 3-5 inches of snow total by the end of the day and much colder temperatures on the horizon with wind chills below zero tonight and tomorrow.

Here's a listing of today's closings and delays as of 8:25 a.m.:

Central Christian Wayne County - two hour delay
CVCA - delayed
Dalton Local - two hour delay
Fairless Local - closed
Field Local - two hour delay
Green Wayne Smithville - two hour delay
James A Garfield - two hour delay
Kingsway Christian - two hour delay
LEAP Program Rittman - closed
Louisville City - closed
Massillon Christian - closed
Midwest Innovations North Canton and Wooster - closed
Minerva Christian - closed
Minerva Local - closed
Norwayne - now CLOSED
Orrville City - two hour delay
Osnaburg Local - closed
R.G. Drage Career - closed
Rittman Village - two hour delay
Sandy Valley Local - closed
Southeast Wayne - two hour delay
St. Louis Elementary Louisville - closed
SUPER Learning Center Summit - closed
Triway Local - two hour delay
Tuslaw Local - closed
Waterloo Local - two hour delay
Wayne County DD - one hour delay
Wooster Christian - one hour delay
Wooster City - two hour delay

Friday, 14 November 2014 09:49

Stow Officer Injured In Cruiser Crash

A Stow police officer was seriously injured when an out-of-control car slammed into his cruiser Thursday night while clearing weather related accidents at Route 8 near Graham Road. The Ohio State Highway Patrol says Lt. Bryan Snavely was pinned against a median concrete barrier when the vehicle driven by Jordan Boykin, 21, of Akron ran into his cruiser parked on the side of the highway. Both men were injured and transported to local hospitals. Snavely's head injuries were described as "serious" while Boykin's injuries were reported as minor the the Ohio State Patrol. Alcohol or drugs is not suspected at this time.

- - - 

UPDATED 9:45 a.m.

StowSnavelyCruiser(Stow PD) On 11/13/14 at 10:16 p.m., Officers were dispatched to Route 8 NB north of Graham for a report of a car that spun out and hit the guard rail. The car was able to right itself and leave prior to officer's arrival. Ofc. Frisina came across a crash on Route 8 SB near the 8.3 mile post.

We then began to experience multiple crashes north bound from approximately the 8.2 mile post up to our north border. Lt. Bryan Snavely responded to the area to assist with traffic control. He pulled over just north of the 8.4 mile post northbound at 11:59 p.m. to deploy traffic flares.

Lt. Snavely had just exited his vehicle when his cruiser was struck by a blue colored 1995 Chevy Blazer driven by a 21 year old male. Lt. Snavely was struck by his cruiser and knocked into the jersey barricade. The driver of the Chevy Blazer was transported to AGMC North for evaluation of a head injury and Lt. Snavely was transported to Akron City. At this time, alcohol/drugs are not suspected in the accident.

The accident is being investigated by the Ohio State Patrol.


(OSHP) The Canton Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating an injury crash which occurred on Interstate 8 northbound near milepost 8.5 which is just north of Graham Road in the city of Stow. The crash happened around 11:26 pm on Thursday evening.

Officers from the Stow Police Department were on SR 8 in the area handling several weather related crashes. Lieutenant Bryan Snavely of the Stow Police Department was on scene assisting with traffic control. Lieutenant Snavely had his vehicle; a 2014 Ford Explorer parked with its strobe lights activated on the left berm and was outside of his vehicle placing flares on the roadway in an attempt to slow traffic for the crashes ahead.

Jordan Boykin, age 21 of Akron was driving northbound on SR 8 in his 1995 Chevy Blazer when he lost control of his vehicle. His vehicle spun to the left and struck the rear of Lieutenant Snavely's vehicle. The 2014 Ford Explorer was then pushed forward and further to the left striking Lieutenant Snavely and temporarily pinning him between the patrol vehicle and the cement median wall.

Lieutenant Snavely suffered serious injuries as a result of the crash and was transported to Akron City Hospital. Jordan Boykin suffered minor injuries and was transported to Akron General. This crash remains under investigation.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014 19:27

It's Kluber!!!!

Indians right-handed ace Corey Kluber is the 2014 American League Cy Young Award winner.


    Pitcher                              Record

1. Gaylord Perry (1972)      24-16, 1.92

2. CC Sabathia (2007)          19-7, 3.21

3. Cliff Lee (2008)                22-3, 2.54

4.            Corey Kluber (2014)    18-9, 2.44Kluber, 28, is coming off one of the best seasons in Indians history by a starting pitcher, going 18-9 with a 2.44 ERA in 34 starts (235.2IP, 207H, 64ER, 14HR, 51BB, 269SO). He finished tied for 1st in the American League in wins (18) and starts (34), 2nd in strikeouts (269, 6th-most in single-season club history) and 3rd in ERA (2.44) and innings pitched (235.2).

(Cleveland Indians) RHP COREY KLUBER has been named the 2014 American League Cy Young Award recipient, it was announced tonight by the Baseball Writers Association of America.


Kluber, 28, is coming off one of the best seasons in Indians history by a starting pitcher, going 18-9 with a 2.44 ERA in 34 starts (235.2IP, 207H, 64ER, 14HR, 51BB, 269SO). He finished tied for 1st in the American League in wins (18) and starts (34), 2nd in strikeouts (269, 6th-most in single-season club history) and 3rd in ERA (2.44) and innings pitched (235.2).


He became just the fourth Major League pitcher to since 1987 to post 18 wins, a sub-2.50 ERA while recording at least 260 strikeouts, joining Bob Feller (1946) and Luis Tiant (1968) in Indians history and Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens in the last 28 seasons. The Indians were 22-12 (.647) during his starts.


The Dallas, Texas native is the fourth Cleveland Indians to earn the American League Cy Young Award, joining Gaylord Perry (1972), CC Sabathia (2007) and Cliff Lee (2008). The Indians are the first team since the Toronto Blue Jays (1996-2003) to have three different Cy Young Award winners within an eight-year span.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014 15:06

Sam Bourquin Calling 1590 WAKR Home

One of northeast Ohio's premier radio and sports personalities is making a switch and moving just a few miles up the road.

(Rubber City Radio Group) 1590 WAKR welcomes SAM BOURQUIN to the Akron Radio Center family, where he'll bring his unique perspective, local sports outlook and knowledge of the Akron-Canton region up the dial to weekday afternoons.

Bourquin, longtime former afternoon host and Sports Director of WHBC-AM in Canton, will anchor afternoons 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. beginning on Monday, November 17, 2014.

"I'm looking forward to starting a new chapter in radio with a wonderful radio family at the Akron Radio Center," Bourquin said. "This is a great way to remain connected with old friends, make new friends and remain a part of the great Akron-Canton community."

"We're very fortunate to have a proven professional, a real talent committed to the Akron-Canton area and northeast Ohio with the credibility earned since he first began broadcasting in Massillon as a teenager," said Thom Mandel, President and General Manager of Rubber City Radio Group (RCRG).

RCRG is the parent company of 1590 WAKR-AM; 94.9 WQMX-FM; 97.5 WONE-FM and 107.3 WNWV-HD Elyria-Cleveland.

"WAKR is the heritage station for Akron celebrating our 75th year of service to greater Akron," Mandel noted. "Sam has been an integral part of our region, growing up in the shadow of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and realizing home truly is where the heart is. We're fortunate to have his talent and passion continue the tradition of WAKR."

"This is a great opportunity for me and my family," Bourquin added. "I'm a northeast Ohio lifer."

A lifelong resident of Stark County, Sam grew up a "stone's throw" from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. Sam attended Canton Central Catholic High School and was a four-year letterman in baseball and also played freshman basketball.

After attending Walsh University, Sam started his radio career in 1990 at WTIG in Massillon where he broadcast sports for three years. In 1993, he joined the staff at WHBC and worked the sports beat as a play-by-play announcer, analyst, host and reporter and was named the station's Sports Director in 2009 and as the primary voice of high school sports on WHBC and on local cable television in Stark County on Time Warner Cable,

Sam's called football, basketball, baseball and softball. In addition to calling high school sports, Sam's also called a pair of Cleveland Indians spring training games. Sam also called some of the playoff contests of the Canton Charge, the D-League developmental team of the Cleveland Cavaliers for NBA-TV.

A strong backer of community involvement, Sam's been involved in the Pro Football Hall of Fame where he's been the public address announcer for the NFL Hall of Fame Game the past seven years at Fawcett Stadium.

Sam also attended many gatherings of local coaches and a frequent speaker to local community groups. His work also helped support the Wish-A-Thon in association with AultCare. Relay for Life on behalf of cancer survivors and other local organizations.

Bourquin is 45 years old and is married with a seven-year son.

Wednesday, 05 November 2014 07:17

Four Students Win Free UA Tuition

Even though the Zips lost to Bowling Green and it was a dark and rainy night -- four students did hit the jackpot at Infocision Stadium. Nytasha Malone of Shaker Heights, Shanel O'Connor of Canal Fulton, Ashley Tasker of Hebron and Dajah Bishop of Cincinnati took home a free semester of tuition after sticking out the raiin and the game.
- - - 
(University of Akron) All UA students who entered InfoCision Stadium on Tuesday evening before kickoff using their Zip Card student ID automatically were entered into a drawing to win the tuition prize, worth more than $4,000. 
The students had to brave the wet, rainy weather and be present to win the tuition prize, which is the amount of the undergraduate in-state Ohio resident tuition rate for 12.0 hours to 16.0 credit hours at the main University of Akron campus. Three students won the prize this way. A fourth student was chosen through a Social Media Challenge by being the one to most often use the hashtag #ZipsBlackout on social media during a defined period of time in the past week. 
Free Tuition Drawing winners:  
Nytasja Malone
Shaker Heights, OH
Major criminal justice
Year freshman
Shanel O'Connor
Canel Fulton, OH
Major education
Year freshman
Ashley Tasker
Hebron, OH
Major criminal justice
Social media winner
Dajah Bishop
Cincinnati, OH
Major public relations