Amani Abraham is the morning web editor and also tracks morning drive traffic for 1590 WAKR, 97.5 WONE and 94.9 WQMX during weekday mornings and is a reporter/anchor. She's no stranger to AkronNewsNow.com, having worked as an intern with Rubber City Radio Group as a producer for the Daily Vodcast and other video projects.. Amani is a 2011 graduate with a Communications degree from the University of Akron, where she excelled in her work on the student radio station WZIP-FM and Z-TV, the University's television program. You can reach Amani through the newsroom 330-864-6397 or by email email@example.com
Construction begins today on a new critical care tower at Akron Children's Hospital, which is the centerpiece of a $200 million expansion project.
Linda Gentile, vice president for professional and support services, says the new tower will house several departments including a new emergency department, neonatal intensive care unit and outpatient surgical suites.
The emergency department will remain open during the construction phase, but Locust Street between Exchange Street and Buchtel Avenue will close.
Street signs will be posted throughout the area to help drivers get around the closure.
"So we're suggesting that people use their GPS to get close to campus and then once they get on campus, they follow all the signage," said Gentile.
Linda Gentile, vice president for professional and support services, says they're still in the demolition phase.
"You won't see any walls going up or anything that looks like a building anytime soon. It'll take a little while."
The expansion project also includes a new six-level, 1,200 space parking deck.
Akron police are investigating a robbery that happened Thursday evening.
Police say a man approached a 38-year-old woman at an ATM machine at a FirstMerit Bank on North Main Street and attempted to grab the money from the ATM. The woman told officers she slapped the suspect's hand when he said "I don't want to hurt you, just give me the money."
The suspect ended up fleeing with $120 in cash.
Police describe the suspect as a white male, 20 – 25 years old, 5’09” – 5’11”, 170 – 190 lbs., wearing a white t-shirt, gray sweat pants, with tattoos on his left arm down to the wrist.
Akron police say a 24-year-old man was shot while driving in the city's east side Thursday evening.
Police say the victim was shot in the right hand and left shoulder while driving near the intersection of Hammel and Corice streets around 5 p.m.
The victim drove to a nearby store where he called police. He told officers that he was shot following an argument that occurred earlier in the day.
He was taken to Akron City Hospital where his injuries do not appear to be life threatening.
Police have identified the suspect as 23-year-old Cleophus Thompson Jr., of Akron. Detectives have signed a warrant for his arrest for felonious assault. Police say he should be considered armed and dangerous.
Anyone with information on Thompson’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Akron Police Department, Detective Bureau, at (330) 375-2490; the U.S. Marshals Service at 1-866-4-WANTED; or the Summit County Crimestoppers Inc. at (330) 434-COPS. Callers can remain anonymous.
Firefighters battled a large fire that broke out at an Akron pallet company early Friday morning.
Crews responded to the fire at Tri County Pallet and Mulch on Flora Avenue near West Wilbeth Road around 5 a.m.
Around 9 a.m., Akron Fire Captain Al Bragg said the fire was under control and crews were working to put out hot spots throughout the area.
"There were six or seven tractor-trailers inside that were burning; as well as some tow motors, a few explosions in there," said Bragg. "A pretty substantial fire."
Bragg says size of the building is comparable to the size of a football field.
No injuries have been reported.
Fire crews were able to clear the scene at around 2:30 Friday afternoon.
It appears the building is not a total loss, according to Bragg. But the damage estimate so far totals more than $650,000
"I was told that they were able to save a substantial portion of the business. So, right now, it looks like there has been some of the business saved."
Fire investigators say sparks from a band saw could have ignited the fire.
Bragg says crews had to shutdown a portion of the railroad near the fire for several hours.
An 18-wheeler parked outside of Buchtel CLC is far more than just a transportation vehicle. It's an interactive experience that creates a unique learning environment for students.
The National Science Center and the U.S. Army traveled to the school with their Mobile Discovery Van (MDV) filled with hands-on activities related to science and math.
Students had an opportunity to visit the Mobile Discovery Van which included a 50-minute presentation. Col. Wayne Recknor, senior aerospace science instructor, requested that the mobile classroom make a trip to Buchtel CLC four years ago.
Sgt. 1st Class Steven McCarroll, an instructor with the MDV, says some students absorb more information when it's presented in a creative way.
"They get that hands-on experience and they can always relate back to that. 'I can remember when I did this' as opposed to when you read something or are told something, you don't always put it in the same part of your memory bank," said McCarroll.
McCarroll works with students across the country inside the mobile classroom using physical science demonstrations to peak the interests of students. Topics include electricity, magnetism, light and motion.
Kent State Unviersity's president is set to retire at the end of the 2014 school year.
Dr. Lester Lefton, who has served as the university's president since 2006, will leave the post on July 1st of next year. (2014)
The announcement was made in an email to faculty, staff and students this morning.
Kent State University President Lester A. Lefton announced today he will retire from the presidency of Ohio’s second largest public university, effective July 1, 2014.
He has served as Kent State’s chief executive officer since July 1, 2006.
“I am so proud of where our university is today, and our record-setting performances have exceeded even our own high expectations and captured regional, state and national attention,” Lefton said in an email message to university faculty, staff and students this morning.
“Kent State is well-positioned for the future, and the academic and physical transformations we have begun – across our campuses and our home communities, most notably, in Kent – will pave the way for an even more exciting future.”
Jane Murphy Timken, chair of Kent State’s Board of Trustees, praised Lefton as a strategic thinker and student-focused leader whose tenure has been transformational for Kent State. “President Lefton’s contributions to Kent State have been extraordinary,” Timken said. “He has been the right leader at the right time who has brought a new sense of purpose and pride in Kent State.
“Through his comprehensive vision and relentless pursuit of excellence, President Lefton has strengthened Kent State’s position at the forefront of higher education,” she said. “He has led our university through an unprecedented period of advancement and growth in enrollment, academic standards and programs, student retention and graduation, faculty success, fundraising, winning athletics, and public-private investments in our campuses and surrounding communities.
“Over the past seven years, Kent State has reached new heights – in fact, it is at the top of its game, and the board is committed to continuing this momentum,” Timken continued. “Seeking a new president who will move us to the next level will be the clear goal of our board.”
Timken thanked Lefton for informing the trustees of his retirement plans well in advance, allowing for a thorough search for a successor, who will be chosen after a national search process that will be launched in the coming weeks.
Under Lefton’s leadership, key university accomplishments to date include:
Kent State has solidified its position as Northeast Ohio’s #1 public university – leading in enrollment, graduates and retention. Since he assumed the presidency in July 2006, enrollment has grown by 25 percent to 42,513 students, the highest recorded enrollment in Kent State’s history. International student enrollment has more than tripled, and each year the university has attracted a more highly qualified, diverse and geographically dispersed entering class.
With a focus on college completion, Kent State has made great strides and significant investments in student success and retention strategies. This spring, the university will confer 4,375 degrees, which is roughly a 13 percent increase from last year and freshman retention has risen to 75-78 percent in recent years.
The transformational “Foundations of Excellence: Building the Future” program was developed and launched, funding some $200 million in campus improvements addressing academic needs, accessibility, energy efficiency and deferred maintenance. Among these will be new or improved facilities for the Sciences; Architecture and Environmental Design; Art; Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology; and Undergraduate Studies.
Key academic objectives have been realized including creation of a College of Public Health, acquisition of a College of Podiatric Medicine, continued integration of the regional campus system, expansion of online programs and courses, and growth in international enrollments and partnerships.
Kent State’s Centennial Campaign raised a record-breaking $265 million, surpassing its $250 million goal. University and foundation leadership together are building the pipeline to cultivate the next generation of donors and ever-higher levels of attainment, which are essential to the university’s future.
The university began a multi-year diversity initiative creating a new division and cabinet-level officer, the vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion; implementing a diversity scorecard; and launching a strategic diversity plan with a focus on inclusive excellence.
With 42,000 students coming to campus every year with expectations of technology that are rivaled in few business to consumer organizations, under Lefton’s leadership Kent State delivered technology-driven solutions that meet the campus community’s demands for support of a wide inventory of digital tools including smart phones, tablets, laptops and gaming devices. Additionally, the university empowered faculty and staff with IT tools to meet the pressures of a 24/7 environment created by the Internet.
Lefton commissioned the university’s first independent study that quantified Kent State’s annual economic impact to the state of Ohio as $1.9 billion. He also invested in branding initiatives that raised the global visibility of the university contributing to its recognition twice as a “Top University in the World” from the Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings.
During Lefton’s tenure, The Chronicle of Higher Education selected Kent State twice as one of the “Great Colleges to Work For.” Additionally, for three years in a row, the Employers Research Council ranked Kent State one of the 99 great workplaces for top talent in Northeast Ohio.
The face of the Kent Campus has changed substantially during Lefton’s tenure. Risman Plaza and many campus academic buildings have seen renovation; campus landscaping, signage and many new student-focused facilities have been developed, including the new Student Green, new student study lounges, and a math emporium in the university’s library.
Significant progress has been made in revitalizing downtown Kent, creating Ohio’s rising college town and making Kent a great place to study, work, live and visit. With the tireless work of public and private partners, the $100 million Kent Gateway Project has become a reality, including the openings in June of the long-awaited hotel and conference center and esplanade extension.
Kent State celebrated its centennial in 2010 through yearlong observances, which included the 40th anniversary of the events of May 4, 1970, listing of the site on the National Register of Historic Places, and the opening of a May 4 Visitors Center marking its place in American history.
Lefton has built a strong leadership team for Kent State, most recently appointing Todd Diacon, Ph.D., as senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. The board and the president have focused on leadership development and building bench strength as a strategic goal, as talent in the form of faculty and staff is key to achieving desired high-impact results in education, research and service.
Kent State Athletics has achieved unprecedented success academically and competitively; among key highlights of his tenure are the Golden Flashes’ 2012 appearance in the College World Series; consistent national rankings and conference championships in sports as wide ranging as golf, wrestling, gymnastics, track and field; six 20-win seasons in men’s basketball; and football’s historic run in 2012-13, including the first bowl appearance in 40 years.
The woman of the 14-year-old boy charged in connection with the murder of a New Franklin couple says her son witnessed the slayings, but was not the killer.
Misty Carswell, 33, tells the Beacon Journal that her son, Jamall Vaughn, was coerced by Shawn Ford, 18, to go to the home of Jeffrey and Magaret Schobert. The 14-year-old boy told his mother that he went with Ford only out of fear and that he thought Ford's intentions were to steal from the couple.
The couple was bludgeoned to death in their home with a sledgehammer on April 2.
The 14-year-old told his mother about the events a day after the attacks during a family meeting where he identified Ford as the killer. . The family met with a counselor and then took Vaughn to talk with police.
Ford was dating the couple's daughter.
Shawn Ford and Jamall Vaughn are facing aggravated murder, robbery and burglary charges. Summit County prosecutors are seeking to have the teen tried as an adult.
On the web: www.ohio.com