Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(DAYTON, Iowa) -- As the search for Kathlynn Shepard, 15, entered its third day Wednesday, new details emerged about the man accused of kidnapping her and a younger girl from a school bus stop before he killed himself in his truck in a secluded area.Police have identified Michael Klunder, a registered sex offender from...
Photodisc/Thinkstock(KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa.) -- The King of Prussia Mall in Pennsylvania kicked out three sisters last Sunday for wearing matching hats with a message: F*** Cancer. Over one of the letters was a strategically placed pink breast cancer ribbon.The ladies, who spoke to the ABC News affiliate WPVI, said they were honoring their...
Sixteen-year-old twins Kiera and Kayla Wilmot with their mother, Marie, in Bartow, Fla. (Credit: Marie Wilmot)(LAKELAND, Fla.) -- Kiera Wilmot is going to space camp.In late April, the 16-year-old central Florida honor student was accused of igniting a chemical explosion on school grounds, leading to her arrest and suspension from school, but...
Mike Ward has been a radio news reporter and anchor for over 20 years, for a variety of stations in Ohio, Virginia, and California. For seven years, he was a news reporter and anchor for Sacramento's top-rated news/talk station, KFBK, and was also news director for WFIR in Roanoke, Virginia. He's also been heard on Cleveland stations. Mike has a special interest in technology, and was a regular on the nationally syndicated radio show "On Computers with Gina Smith". Despite his out-of-area experience, Mike is an Akron native. He was born at Akron City Hospital, and grew up in Cuyahoga Falls. He's been with AkronNewsNow since 2009. You can reach Mike through the newsroom at 330-864-6397, or by email email@example.com.
Akron police and the Summit County Medical Examiner's office are looking into a gruesome discovery in South Akron Saturday evening.
The body of a man only identified as a 37 year-old white male was found hanging in a tree on Jonathan Avenue off Arlington Road, near the former Barrett Elementary School, at about 8 PM Saturday.
The Medical Examiner's Office tells AkronNewsNow that the victim could likely be identified on Monday, and an autopsy will be performed.
But they say at this time, the office and Akron police say it doesn't appear to be a suspicious death.
NewsChannel 5 reports that the body was found by a man and his 14 year-old daughter.
On the Web: WEWS NewsChannel 5, www.newsnet5.com
A dispute between DirecTV and WJW "Fox 8" in Cleveland is apparently over.
The station had warned viewers Thursday that a contract dispute with the satellite company could result in the loss of Fox programming for DirecTV viewers in Northeast Ohio.
Friday, WJW announced that the station and DirecTV have reached an agreement.
The "Fox 8" signal will remain available on DirecTV and the other satellite and cable providers carrying the station.
On the Web: WJW Fox 8, www.fox8.com
From smartphones and meeting rooms, to drywall.
CEOs from major Akron companies pitched in to help build a Habitat for Humanity home project in North Hill, Friday on Berwin Avenue.
FirstEnergy CEO Anthony Alexander admits it's not his usual line of work.
"Well, I'm trying to make a piece of drywall fit into a closet," Alexander describes his task to AkronNewsNow, "and I cut it a little too long the first time, so now I'm going to...whatever they call this thing, kind of sand it down so it fits."
Down on the first floor of the under construction Habitat home, FedEx Custom Critical CEO Virginia Albanese says she's learning as she goes...
"I certainly don't hang drywall on a regular basis," Albanese notes, "but I've gotten a great lesson today, and I'm hitting the studs far more often at this point in the day."
Alexander says the hands on experience is a great way to help show how much his company supports Habitat for Humanity.
"My company's always been a big supporter of this organization, we think they do an absolutely wonderful job," Alexander tells AkronNewsNow, "and I thought, well, I might as well get in a day in myself."
Habitat for Humanity's own CEO in Akron, Rochelle Fisher, says she hopes the bosses' elbow grease rubs off on those who work for them.
"Hopefully it'll help them engage their employees a little bit more in our mission," Fisher says, "and volunteer groups to come out from their companies."
The gathering of business leaders was spearheaded by Summa Health System CEO Tom Strauss.
Concern about Tropical Storm Issac pushed the Republican National Convention to move its start in Tampa to Tuesday.
But with a lot of Republicans in Tampa, that doesn't mean nothing happened on Monday.
Summit County's Bryan Williams is an alternate delegate to the convention.
He says that there were plenty of meetings among Ohio delegates, and a chance to hear from some notables.
"We got a chance to meet Josh Romney, who is the second oldest son of Gov. Romney's, and he spoke on behalf of his father," Williams tells AkronNewsNow. "Ari Fleischer, who was a former press secretary for President Bush, spoke."
Williams says former House speaker and ex-Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich talked to the Ohio delegation about the importance of energy to Republican candidates.
"(It's) very important to Ohio, because of the 500 million barrels of oil that are underneath the ground," Williams tells AkronNewsNow. "and he talked about how that is going to become a key campaign issue."
Williams says even though no official convention business happened Monday, the delegates had a lot to do.
"We also got updated as to the rules, and the other mechanics of running the convention", Williams says. "We've got a lot to do though we're not at the convention hall yet."
Williams says that'll happen on Tuesday afternoon.
The Republican National Convention is set to official start activities on Tuesday. Williams will be on the WAKR Ray Horner Morning Show Tuesday at 7:10 AM on 1590 WAKR.
A Summit County jury has found a 21 year-old Akron woman guilty of the meth-related death of her toddler son.
The jury found Heather Lerch guilty of murder, involuntary manslaughter, and child endangering.
Prosecutors say after Lerch and her 17 month-old son Patrick moved into the home of her boyfriend, 19 year-old Randy Legg, Patrick was kept in the basement near an active meth lab and rats.
Legg faces an October trial on involuntary manslaughter, child endangering and other charges. His 22 year-old brother Ronald has a September trial on murder and other charges.
Lerch will be sentenced in the courtroom of Judge Thomas Parker on September 25.
SUMMIT COUNTY PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE - news release
Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh announced today that a jury found Heather Lerch, 21, of St. Leger Avenue in Akron, guilty of Murder, Involuntary Manslaughter and Child Endangering for the February death of her 17-month-old son Patrick.
Patrick died February 26 after ingesting large amounts of methamphetamine. Lerch and her son moved into the home of her boyfriend, Randy Legg, on St. Leger Avenue just days before Patrick died. Patrick was kept in the home’s rat-infested basement in the care of two other men, who were cooking and high on meth throughout Patrick’s last days.
“This was a horrific crime, and I thank the jury for finding Heather Lerch guilty of killing her son,” said Prosecutor Walsh. “Patrick’s death is, unfortunately, a very sad example of how drugs – especially meth – ruin lives.”
Randy Legg, 19, is scheduled to go to trial October 4. He is charged with Involuntary Manslaughter, Child Endangering and several drug charges. His brother, Ronald Legg, 22, is scheduled to go to trial September 24 on charges of Murder, Involuntary Manslaughter, Child Endangering and several drug charges. A third man, Allen Kostra, 25, pleaded guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter, Child Endangering and Illegal Manufacture of Drugs. He testified for the State again Heather Lerch.
Judge Thomas Parker will sentence Lerch at 9:00 a.m. on September 25.
The bus option to commute from Akron to Cleveland is getting an upgrade.
Starting today, one of Akron Metro Regional Transit Authority's two North Coast Express routes will serve new destinations and have expanded hours.
"The service that runs from the west side of Akron to Cleveland is going to have stops now at Cleveland State University, Cleveland Clinic and the Wade Park VA hospital," Metro spokesperson Molly Becker tells AkronNewsNow, "because that's been a huge request of ours, the Wade Park facility."
Metro's local route 101 has served the VA hospital in Brecksville, which recently closed. Becker says that route will continue to make connections with Greater Cleveland RTA's 77F Brecksville route near the former VA hospital location.
The x61 bus, which serves the Robert K. Pfaff Transit Center, the West Market Street corridor and the Fisher Park and Ride on Ghent Road, will also have midday service for the first time. The other North Coast Express bus, the x60 to Cuyahoga Falls, will remain on its current schedule on its current route. Both run weekdays only.
The fare remains $5 each way.
Becker says the additional North Coast Express service starting today is on a one year trial.
But the popularity of the overall North Coast Express service is not in question.
"It's one of our most popular (routes), especially with the economy, with gas prices, with parking prices," Becker says, "and we see anywhere from a 13 to a 17 percent increase on that service almost every single month compared to last year."
Becker says those wanting to visit downtown Cleveland's Horseshoe Casino and other attractions will likely use the expanded service.
Akron mayor Don Plusquellic has become a part of baseball lore in his hometown...a nodding part.
The Akron Aeros gave out mayoral bobbleheads to the first 1,000 who attended Sunday's final home game of the regular season at Canal Park.
But a number of folks who live outside Akron had a little trouble figuring out what suit-wearing figure was represented by the bobblehead.
"Who is that?", AkronNewsNow asked Aeros fan Llewe'sha Perry, who lives in Ravenna..
Her first guess? "Dick Goddard," the veteran WJW-TV "Fox 8 News" meteorologist.
But Perry's daughter helped out, and chimed in with the right answer.
"The mayor of Akron," both eventually said, correctly.
Corine Valentine of Brewster doesn't know much about Mayor Plusquellic, but was OK with the idea...even having a bit of fun with it.
"I think it's different to have a mayor bobblehead," Valentine chuckled, "and I'll proudly display it on my stand at home," she said with a chuckle.
There were visitors at the game from as far away as Belgium. And one out-of-towner wasn't entirely sure who was being honored, but she liked the idea - in general.
"I honestly have no opinion, we're not from here", one woman tells AkronNewsNow, "I do think it's neat that he did it...or she...whoever it is." (We're not sure she had actually looked at the bobblehead at that point.)
As for city residents we talked to, most just didn't have an opinion of their mayor in bobblehead form.
Mayor Plusquellic was the "people's choice" to be immortalized with a bobblehead by the fans earlier this year, as a part of an Akron Aeros promotion.
6/6/12: AUDIO UPDATE Mayor Bobblehead?
The Akron mother charged in the death of her 17 month son in a meth house could learn her fate next week.
The Beacon Journal reports that the jury will begin deliberating Monday in the case of 21 year-old Heather Lerch, charged with murder in the death of her 17 month-old son Patrick.
Prosectuors say the child died from meth poisoning from ingesting meth. They offered testimony that Patrick was kept in a basement with an active meth lab and rats.
Heather Lerch also faces charges including involuntary manslaughter, endangering children and complicity.
But the newspaper reports that two charges of illegal assembly of manufacturing drugs were dropped Friday by Summit County Common Pleas Judge Tom Parker for lack of evidence.
On the Web: Akron Beacon Journal, www.ohio.com
Here are high school football scores from action Friday night, August 24:
Ellet 63, Springfield 6 (CORRECTION)
Garfield 14, Wooster 12
St. Vincent-St. Mary's 45, Cincinnati Purcell Marian 0
Canton South 27, Coventry 6
Chagrin Falls 63, Revere 21
Copley 54, Cleveland JFK 22
Cuyahoga Falls 31, Barberton 0
Hawken 40, Western Reserve Academy 14
Hudson 17, Kenston 14
Kent Roosevelt 36, Hoban 17
Cloverleaf 47, Buckeye 2
Perry 35, East 7
Highland 69, Holy Name 14
Hoover 52, Stow-Munroe Falls 14
Fairless 50, North 20
Norton 21, Chippewa 13
Orrville 24, Northwest 20
Woodridge 55, Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy 0
Ravenna 29, Tallmadge 23
Rittman 43, Danville 6
Lake 20, Green 14
(Scores provided by Associated Press)
The community garden at Mason Park may be looking into some extra security.
The garden was vandalized last month.
"Most of it was at the top of the hill where our kids garden was," Cheryl Schmidt with the NEOhaus Institute, which oversees the Mason Park garden, tells AkronNewsNow, "and they vandalized some of the boxes, and pulled up plants and vegetables and kind of threw them all over...so it was kind of disheartening, especially for our kids program."
Schmidt says the group has talked with the city of Akron and the Akron Public Schools about better security, including possible measures like adding a fence, beefing up surveillance or adding lighting.
"And they have been very, very receptive. So I think it's just a matter of where exactly we want the fence, what the cost is gonna be," Schmidt tells AkronNewsNow.com. "And the same thing with what has to be done to add the surveillance and what kind of costs we're looking at, so those are the things that we're doing now. I don't know how much this is all gonna cost."
Schmidt tells AkronNewsNow that once that cost is determined, NEOhaus will figure out what fundraising efforts are needed to pay for it.
She says that in addition to raising money at existing events like one scheduled at Mason Community Learning Center in October, other efforts could be added to pay for the upgrades.
Schmidt says the community really responded to get the Mason Park garden back in shape, with over 120 plants being donated...and volunteers and kids getting together to replant them.
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