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

Thursday, 17 September 2015 08:38

Akron Bar Issues Judge Ratings

The Akron Bar Association ratings for candidates for judicial races on the ballot in November are out, and for the most part candidates are rated as "Excellent," "Good" or "Adequate."

The lone exception was David Worhatch, running for the Stow Municipal Court slot currently held by Lisa Coates. The Bar Association's committee reveiwing candidates found Worhatch to be "Unacceptable" in it's ratings.

The four positions on the ballot are all on local municipal courts.

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(Akron Bar Association) The Akron Bar Association Commission on Judicial Candidates has been established by the Akron Bar Association to evaluate candidates for local judgeships. The Commission rates the candidates “Excellent,” “Good,” “Adequate,” or “Not Acceptable.” Ratings are based on seven criteria: integrity, legal knowledge and ability, professional experience, judicial temperament, diligence, personal responsibility and public and community service.

All ratings require a majority vote of the Commission; a rating of “Excellent” requires two thirds supermajority of the Commission. The ratings are not intended to be a comparison or endorsement of candidates, but only represent the Commission’s evaluation of each individual candidate’s qualifications for the specific office sought. 

A rating of “Adequate” requires a vote of a majority of the Commission members present. If a candidate is rated “Adequate,” a second ballot is taken to determine if the rating “Good” will be awarded, also requiring a vote of the majority of the Commission members present. If a candidate is rated “Good,” a third ballot is taken to determine if the rating “Excellent” will be awarded. The “Excellent” rating requires the affirmative vote of a two-thirds majority of the Commission members present.

The ratings are as follows:

Akron Municipal Court - Term beginning January 1, 2016
Jason Adams GOOD
Jerry Larson EXCELLENT

Akron Municipal Court - Unexpired Term to End January 1, 2020
David Lombardi EXCELLENT

Barberton Municipal Court - Unexpired Term to End December 31, 2017
Paul Adamson EXCELLENT
Jill Flagg Lanzinger GOOD

Stow Municipal Court - Term to begin January 1, 2016
Lee Ann Schaffer ADEQUATE

Wednesday, 16 September 2015 13:12

Matt Patrick Reveals Cancer Fight

A name you grew up with is in a life or death fight. Former longtime Akron radio personality Matt Patrick -- now working at Houston radio station KTRH -- made public today his fight with esophageal cancer. He told his morning radio audience today he learned of the diagnosis last week.

Patrick says he'll "fight like hell" and has a treatment program scheduled, noting the hospitals in Houston have an excellent reputation, with patients coming there from around the world with the cancer he was diagnosed with just last week. Patrick told his audience of his hopes he can be an example to others as he's worked to be in his public battles with alcoholism. While at WKDD and WHLO in Akron, Patrick openly talked of combatting his demons and working hard to stay sober.

Patrick says he will work from his studio at home, if necessary, but prepared his listeners for the reason he may be absent from the host's chair while undergoing treatment. 

LISTEN to Patrick's appearance this morning



Tuesday, 15 September 2015 07:37

ACLU To Wadsworth: Stop Praying Over Heroin

The ACLU wants Wadsworth to cut out praying -- for those slammed by the heroin epidemic. City Council's president there wants a prayer session in council chambers Thursday night to "develop a plan for daily prayer...to overcome drugs." The ACLU isn't addressing drugs but says any city-sponsorship of prayer crosses the line between church and state. 

The group wants Wadsworth law director Norman Brague to put an end to sponsorship of prayer-related meetings using government resources.

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(ACLU) the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio sent a letter to the city of Wadsworth in Medina County, warning that the sponsorship of prayer meetings by city council members in city council chambers raises grave concerns of constitutionality.

According to a Wadsworth City Council news release, Council President Tom Palecek called a meeting for prayer to be held at the Wadsworth City Council Chambers this Thursday at 7:30 p.m., with another one scheduled for September 24. The purpose of these meetings Palecek said was, "to develop a plan for daily prayer by the community to overcome drug usage in Wadsworth, especially heroin."

ACLU of Ohio Staff Attorney Drew Dennis said, "We are deeply concerned by the city's apparent sponsorship of prayer meetings. The First Amendment prohibits the government from becoming excessively entangled with religion. Promoting prayer meetings through a city council press release and holding the meetings in city council chambers does just that.

"The ACLU strongly believes in religious liberty and has defended the rights of those who wish to practice religion. However, the city should not be in the business of sponsoring community prayer meetings for its citizens."

In its letter to Norman E. Brague, director of law for the city of Wadsworth, the ACLU of Ohio advised the city to immediately end its sponsorship of the upcoming prayer meetings. It also requested that public records, including financial expenditures, correspondence among city employees and its representatives, and advertising related to the announced prayer meetings, as well as any policy pertaining to the use of council chambers, be made available for review by Wednesday, September 16.

"Religion is a personal matter for any individual," Dennis said. "The Constitution guarantees that we can choose to worship a particular religion or not without interference from the government. That also means that the government should not promote a particular religion or religious practice on its citizens. It's clear that the actions of the Wadsworth City Council crosses the line dividing church and state."

Monday, 14 September 2015 12:07

Officers Injured In Cruiser Crash

A pair of Akron police officers were treated and released with only minor injuries after a head-on crash with another vehicle turning from South Main to East Crosier Street late last night. Police say the driver of a 2002 Honda Civic was cited for an improper turn after the crash, which was violent enough to send the police cruiser fishtailing and into a utility pole.

Both officers were protected when their airbags deployed. Neither the driver nor passenger in the Civic were injured.

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(APD) Shortly after 11:00pm last night, two officers in a cruiser were traveling southbound on South Main Street in the left hand curb lane. A 2002 Honda Civic was also traveling southbound on South Main Street in a middle lane. The driver of the Honda Civic attempted to turn left onto East Crosier Street in front of the cruiser, striking the front of the cruiser. The cruiser fishtailed and struck a utility pole. Both air bags deployed on the officers.

The officers were transported to Akron General Medical Center, where they were treated and released with minor injuries. 

The driver and passenger of the Honda Civic were not injured. The driver of the Honda Civic was cited for an improper turn.

Monday, 14 September 2015 08:34

Springfield Chief Asks For Miller Death Review

Springfield PD Chief John Smith asking for an independent review on the passing of Jordn Miller; the 24-year old was found naked on Mile White Drive last Tuesday and fought police, and was tasered and restrained while under arrest. At the time of his arrest police reported Miller had been abusing "various" drugs and hadn't slept for three days. Miller died Thursday.

"Regardless of the circumstances," Smith said in a statement, "any loss of life is tragic and no more so than for the family of this young man. Our thoughts and prayers go with them during this difficult time."

Smith requested a review by the Summit County Prosecutors Office even though he says all indications are his officers acted properly when taking Miller into custody. Miller's condition was such that paramedics also responded to the arrest and transported Miller to Akron City Hospital. An officer Miller bit in the leg during the arrest was also transported to the hospital, where he was treated and released.

Miller leaves behind a baby daughter and parents, siblings and grandparents. He was a graduate of Garfield High School and is being remembered for his heart of gold; a memorial service will be held at Firestone Metro Park this afternoon.

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Statement of Springfield PD Chief John Smith:

"It is with much sorrow that we hear of the passing of Jordn Miller. Regardless of the circumstances, any loss of life is tragic and no more so than for the family of this young man. Our thoughts and prayers go with them during this difficult time.

Although all indications are that the arresting officers followed proper procedure, I have requested that the office of the Summit County Prosecutor conduct an independent review of the incident involving Mr. Miller. This is done solely in the spirit of maintaining transparency and integrity.

Our department is committed to the safety and well being of the citizens we serve and that commitment will continue in light of current events. As we move forward, we ask for the continued support and confidence this great community has always shown us."

Thursday, 10 September 2015 12:46

UPDATE Akron's New Deadlines Hit Some Students

The University of Akron dropped the hammer -- as promised -- on students who weren't able to meet new deadlines to pay for their college education. Matt Collins of Garrettsville says it came as a shock to his daughter -- a fourth year student -- waiting on federal student aid to come in. He says a check of her student email account after Labor Day Monday revealed she was no longer enrolled despite spending the past few weeks attending classes.
Collins says his daughter is investigating a transfer to Kent State University to complete her degree.
The University approved new late fees and deadlines earlier this summer, splitting students into pre-August 1 registration and post-August 1 registration deadlines. The University confirms this week234 students were "un-registered" for the classes they'd already been attending. Emotional students were at the Admissions offices following the long Labor Day holiday weekend trying to work all out their payment issues but many have scholarships from groups outside of the University system, such as federally-backed student aid programs, which may not have posted payments yet to students or the institution.
The University says 44 students were re-enrolled after working with admissions and student aid departments; in some cases, a 25% deposit had to be paid on the semester's fees. Akron spokesman Dan Minnich says they want to work with students to resolve their issues.  Collins says the University told his daughter to pay $2,000 "right now" despite her record of having federal Stafford student aid loans. He says there wasn't much interest in tracking down student aid history or committments other than getting a check.
The University reported last week that enrollment applications were up 16% from last year, to more than 22,000 students. The numbers were unofficial but are expected to be finalized on next Tuesday. 
Responses from UA's Dan Minnich:
- how many students have been impacted now that the September 7th deadline has passed?
As background, for those students who registered before August 1st, the payment due date was August 10th. If the student made no contact with the university to discuss his/her bill and payment was not received by August 17th, they were un-registered. If they were in contact, the Office of Student Accounts worked with them to make payment arrangements. Also, if at least 25% of a student’s bill is covered by financial aid or if a partial payment was made (either by the student or family or from a third party, such as an outside scholarship), they were not affected by the August 10th deadline. For those students, the bill needed to be paid in full by September 7th to avoid the late fee.
Throughout August and into the first week of September, there was a stream of outreach to students about the changes in deadlines and late fees. This communication included a series of emails as well as phone calls to students whose payments had not been received as deadlines approached. 237 students were un-enrolled September 7th. As of 2 o’clock Wednesday afternoon, 44 of these students had already re-enrolled.
- what consideration is given to students who have scholarships "in progress" but not released?
UA general scholarships are posted to the accounts of continuing students by mid-June after grades are reviewed and continued eligibility is confirmed for the upcoming year. Endowed scholarships are awarded by August 1 with only a few exceptions such as late selections by colleges.
In short, university scholarships are awarded to students prior to the tuition deadline and appear on students’ accounts as pending financial aid. Although the actual funds do not disburse to pay charges until 10 days prior to the semester, they are awarded and considered toward the students’ charges for the semester. 
Isolated incidents of students being dropped while scholarships are pending are typically because the scholarships are external and have not yet arrived from the outside agency, or because students are selected for a scholarship award after the tuition deadline. In these rare cases, students can contact the bursar’s office and provide proof of the award. We have assisted many students in the past using that practice, and allow students to remain in their classes as long as scholarship documentation has been provided. 
Bottom line, students with payment issues are urged to talk with us about them. We want to work—and regularly do work—with our students to resolve such issues.
Monday, 24 August 2015 08:07

Springfield Looking For Storage Suspect

Springfield Township police think an Akron man burglarized some storage units and now they're trying to find him. More than a dozen units at Park Place Equipment Storage were broken into about a week ago. Now, police have a warrant posted for 47-year old James Moore Junior of Jewett Street in Akron. Police Sgt. Eric East says they have not recovered any stolen property.

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(Springfield Township PD) As some media outlets have reported, over the past week, we have had several storage units broken into with several items reported stolen. The incidents occurred at Park Place Equipment Storage located at 3284 E. Waterloo Rd. With information provided by witnesses, our Detective Bureau was able to follow leads and establish a suspect in the case.

Warrants for breaking and entering are currently active for the arrest of 47 year old James R. Moore Jr. Mr. Moore's last known address was on Jewett St. in the city of Akron but he is said to now have no permanent residence. James is described as a white male, 5'10", 190 lbs., with blonde hair and blue eyes. He was last seen driving a 1999 white Ford F-150 pick-up with Ohio registration GNY7488.

Do not attempt to apprehend any wanted person(s). Contact the Springfield Twp. Police @ (330) 784-1609 if you have any information on the whereabouts of James R. Moore Jr. All information may be given anonymously.

Monday, 24 August 2015 07:19

UPDATE Bath Man Found After Search

UPDATE Bath PD reports Lonnie Curtis, missing for nearly two days, was found at Ira and Martin Roads. He was spotted by an off-duty firefighter, James Horak, according to the Department's Facebook page. Curtis is currently being evaluated.

(Bath Police Department) Mr Curtis has been located! Our fire department is evaluating him to make sure he does not have any medical concerns. Thank you for everyone's assistance. Mr. Curtis was spotted by off-duty firefighter James Horak. Firefighter Horak notified Bath PD of the location, Ira Rd. & Martin Rd. Many thanks James Horak!!!


Bath Township police are asking residents to walk their property for a missing elderly man.  Lonnie Curtis was last seen in the Candlewood Drive area and the search over the weekend included parts of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Police dogs were included and over a hundred volunteers went over parkland. The search will resume this morning.

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(Bath Township PD) Bath residents are requested to walk their properties and inspect any outbuildings for the missing person Lonnie Curtis. He was last seen wearing a blue polo shirt and blue jeans. Contact the Bath PD at 330-666-3736 if you find Mr. Curtis or any of his clothing.

The search for Curtis will resume on Monday morning. Over 100+ law enforcement and fire personnel searched for 11 hours today. We were assisted by civilian search and rescue personnel with K-9s. The Summit County Sheriff provided his horse mounted patrol to search the CVNP.

Summit County Emergency Management personnel provided needed equipment and assistance. The University of Akron provided valuable computer forensic assistance today.

Mrs. Curtis is being assisted by a wonderful group of neighbors. Thank you to all Bath residents who checked their neighborhood and property for Mr. Curtis.

We are learning more about the murder at Chapel Hill mall last week; the victim had been stabbed AND shot in the past, but police say 35-year old Terrance Rogers never cooperated with cops to find his assailant.

A murder warrant remains open for 28-year old Deandre Baskerville; his record includes drug convictions and at least one prison stretch. A Grand Jury earlier this year didn't find enough evidence to support indictment after an argument with his child's mother.

NEOMG reports Rogers was stabbed in 2011 and walked into Akron General Medical Center on his own power but refused to say where the stabbing took place or who did it, telling a security officer his mother drove him to the hospital.

In another incident a year later, Rogers was wounded with a gunshot to the leg while he says he was trick or treating on 8th Street S.W. and also refused to provide more information to police.

Friday, 21 August 2015 08:40

Twin Blimps In Friday's Forecast

 Have your camera ready this afternoon -- because today's twin blimp flyovers may be one for the history books.

Both the new Wingfoot One and Spirit of Innovation making tandem runs you'll be able to watch over Goodyear World Headquarters after two, over the Akron Food Bank just before three and at Stan Hywet before 3:30.

There may be one more flyover Monday before the Spirit of Innovation heads west to do duty on the West Coast.