If money was going to decide the democratic primary on September 8th between Mike Williams and Daniel Horrigan, the race would already be over.

Horrigan's campaign comiittee has outspent Williams' campaign committee by 4 to 1, according to campaign finance reports filed Thursday with the Summit County Board of Elections.

Longtime Councilman Williams does not believe this primary will be decided by money and is still optimistic he can win the election.

"I am confident they will give me permisson to lead this city and to provide leadership for our entire community," Williams said.

He said the people of Akron wants to do away with the old political machine that has run the city for years.

"They're [people of Akron] excited about change. They want a different style of government. They don't want that same old dictorial style of government."

Williams said he has ran his campaign on being a man of the people and promoting a more citizen involved government

"Its our candidacy," Williams said."It is the people of Akron. It's their government. I am their servant and have been their servant for 28 years."

An Akron man is accused of punching, kicking and raping his housecleaner at his apartment, forcing her to jump out of the first floor window, Cleveland.com reports.

Ladan Watson, 41, is charged with multiple counts of rape, assault and abduction. He was arrested at his apartment early Saturday morning.

The 31-year-old woman reported on Friday Watson beat her for hours and forced her to undress, raping her twice. The woman was taken to an area hospital for treatment with injuries consistent with her report to police, court records say.

Watson is scheduled to appear in Akron Municipal Court on Monday

An Akron man will now face a life prison term, after being found guilty on Friday of sexually abusing a young girl over a span of five years.

Jeremy Scott, 35, was found guilty of 10 counts of rape, 10 counts of sexual battery and four counts of gross sexual imposition.

Scott sexually abused the girl between July 15, 2005 and Dec. 31, 2010. The abuse started when the girl was 7 year old and stopped when she was 12, according to Cleveland.com.

Cleveland.com also reports, the girl's mother reported the abuse in December to Akron police, who launched an investigation.

Scott will be sentenced on Oct.1.

Saturday, 29 August 2015 20:09

Porch Rokr Music Fest Rocks Highland Square

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Not even rain could stop the party at Akron's Highland Square Saturday, as the 4th annual Highland Square Porch Rokr Festival brought thousands of music lovers to the area.

The neighborhood music fest featured more than 100 musicians and bands that performed on porches around the neighborhood, ending with a performance from headliner Wesley Bright and the Hi-Lites on Merriman Road in the parking lot of the former Temple Israel.

It also included an interactive chalk art project on Weber avenue, a beer garden featuring Thirsty Dog serving their special Porch Rokr honey ale, arts and crafts for sale by artists and many other activities.

Highland Square resident Lisa Dennis has lived in the area for years and can see the growth in the event since it started back in 2012. She said Porch Rokr gives her a chance to reconnect with old friends.

"You can't walk 20 feet without seeing somebody that you know or you haven't seen for a while," Dennis said. "So, you stop and talk to people you haven't seen in a while and it's just a way to reconnect."

Mark Strough, a resident of Highland Square, said the festival gives people a chance outside of the Highland Square community an opportunity to get to know the area.

"It's the last neighborhood in Akron that has a personality," Strough said. "It gives a chance for people outside the neighborhood to come and see the how much personality Highland Square has."

The event was sponsored by a number of businesses in the Highland Square area as well as public organizations such as the Akron Community Center, John S. Knight Foundation, and Ohio Arts Council.

 

Jurors have come back with a guilty verdict against 23 year-old Michael Hendon, one of two brothers charged in the murders of John Kohler, his step-daughter Ashley Carpenter, and his son David Carpenter-Kohler.

Hendon was also found guilty in the attempted murder of Ronda Blankenship, who was John Kohler's live-in girlfriend.

The murders took place at Kohler's 7th Street Northeast home on New Years' Eve 2013.

Barberton Police charged that the Hendon brothers came to Kohler's home to steal money and drugs.

Michael Hendon will be sentenced September 8th. His older brother Eric is scheduled to go on trial in October.

(Summit County Prosecutor's Office, news release) Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh announced today that jurors found Michael Hendon, 23, of Fawler Avenue in Akron, guilty in connection with the murders of three people in Barberton on December 31, 2013

Jurors found Hendon guilty of the following charges:

Three counts of Aggravated Murder – felonies of the first degree
One count of Attempted Murder – a felony of the first degree
Five counts of Aggravated Burglary – felonies of the first degree
Two counts of Felonious Assault – felonies of the second degree

On the evening of December 31, 2013, Hendon, armed with a gun, forced his way into the Barberton home of John Kohler with the intent of stealing money and drugs. In the process of the robbery, the 42-year-old Kohler, his 18-year-old step-daughter Ashley Carpenter, and his 14-year-old son David Carpenter-Kohler, were shot and killed. Kohler's live-in girlfriend, Ronda Blankenship, was shot in the head, but survived. Blankenship lost an eye as a result of the shooting.

Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Amy Corrigall-Jones is scheduled to sentence Hendon on September 8th, 2015 at 2pm.

Hendon's brother Eric is scheduled to stand trial in the case on October 13, 2015.

Friday, 28 August 2015 13:32

Akron General, Cleveland Clinic Merger Coming

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The merger will be official - Akron General Health System will become a full part of Cleveland Clinic.

Cleveland Clinic has exercised its option to buy Akron General outright, after it initially invested $100 million dollars in the system.

Akron General president/CEO Dr. Tim Stover says that the move was a natural, and that Cleveland Clinic's investment in the Akron system is already visible.

"First of all, we've knocked down two buildings," Dr. Stover tells WAKR.net. "There's a big hole there right now that will be the site of a $30 million-plus emergency room."

Dr. Stover also cites new equipment and updated medical recordskeeping that was made possible by the Cleveland Clinic's initial investment.

He says that the idea behind the merger is to grow services in Akron, not to send patients or services to the north.

"This is about growing Akron General, not about sending people to Cleveland.
They want Akron General to be as successful as we can be," Stover says. "So that model, the hub and spoke model, is not in play here. It's exactly the opposite."

Akron General has been a "Cleveland Clinic affiliate" since that move. The merger would keep the Akron General name on the local system.

The deal still faces federal approval.

Akron General will have a local advisory boards in Akron after the merger. Dr. Stover says he'll continue to be in place in Akron as well.

The man accused of murdering an elderly Strasburg couple changed his plea to guilty this morning.

Robert Clark, 30, of Dennison, was sentenced to life in prison for the murders of Doyle Chumney, 88, and Lillian Chumney, 79. Clark previously pleaded not guilty in March.

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The couple was reported missing on January 21 and later found dead in a car, which had been set on fire in Coshocton County.

Jeffrey Stewart, 21, of New Philidelphia, was also arrested in connection with the murders.

 

Previous Coverage:

Clark, Stewart Indicted For Chumney Killings

Sheriff: Clark Confesses In Chumney Murders

Clark Nabbed In Arizona, Chumney Family Issues Statement

Reward Offered To Find Fugitive Murder Suspect

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(News Release - Ohio Attorney General's Office) – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Coshocton County Prosecuting Attorney Jason Given, and Tuscarawas County Prosecuting Attorney Ryan Styer announced today that an Ohio man has been sentenced to serve life in prison without the possibility of parole for the January murders of a Tuscarawas County husband and wife.

Robert Clark, 30, of Dennison, pleaded guilty this morning to two counts of aggravated murder, two counts of kidnapping, and one count each of aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, and aggravated arson in connection to the deaths of Doyle Chumney, 88, and Lillian Chumney, 79. As part of the plea agreement, all remaining charges and specifications, including death penalty specifications, were dismissed.

Following the plea, Coshocton County Common Pleas Judge Robert J. Batchelor immediately sentenced Clark to life in prison without parole.

The Chumneys were first reported missing from their Strasburg home on January 21, 2015, and their remains were discovered the following day in their vehicle, which was found abandoned and burned on a secluded road in Coshocton County.

According to the investigation conducted by a multi-jurisdictional task force formed to investigate the case, it is believed that Clark and his co-defendant, Jeffery Stewart, 21, of New Philadelphia, kidnapped and killed the couple after a home invasion. Authorities believe Clark shot both victims before the defendants lit their car on fire. Clark was arrested in early February in Mohave County, Arizona, after a nationwide manhunt.

The Coshocton County Prosecutor's Office prosecuted the case with assistance from prosecutors from Attorney General DeWine's Special Prosecutions Section and the Tuscarawas County Prosecutor's Office. Agents from the Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) were also part of the task force that investigated the crime.

"This brutal and senseless crime shocked those across the state and the nation, and this heartless killer deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison paying for his vicious actions," said Attorney General DeWine. "I commend the law enforcement officers and prosecutors who worked incredibly hard to bring this defendant to justice."

"Today's plea agreement was made with the support of Mr. and Mrs. Chumney's family, who expressed concerns about the stress of a lengthy trial, a potential death penalty sentencing phase, and appeals, which would have hindered their ability to try to find closure as it relates to the justice system," said Coshocton County Prosecuting Attorney Jason Given. "This outcome for the family would not have been possible without the superb work of the Coshocton County Sheriff's Office, Tuscarawas County Sheriff's Office, and BCI."

In addition to BCI, authorities from the Coshocton County Sheriff's Office, Strasburg Police Department, Tuscarawas County Sheriff's Office, Coshocton County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, Tuscarawas County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, and Coshocton County Coroner's Office made up the task force that investigated the case.

Stewart, who was arrested in late January after task force members released a surveillance photograph of him at an area gas station, is scheduled to go on trial in December.

 

 

Thursday, 27 August 2015 13:23

Sinkhole Damages Home, Forces Family To Leave

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A large sinkhole has caused damage to a Massillon home, forcing a family to move out. And now officials say an abandoned mine could be to blame.

"I went down to our basement and noticed our foundation had a crack in the middle of it," said homeowner Andrew Seese.

That was just the beginning, according to Seese.

Several cracks throughout the home started to appear inside his Orville Street NW home. The cracks continued to increase in size.

"From the time I noticed it to about a week later, it grew almost to an inch from a quarter inch. So I was calling people, frantically, and everyone was like 'Oh, I'll get there in two to three weeks,' and I'm like 'This is growing really fast, and no one seemed to believe me.'"

But it did get the attention of officials with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources who are now trying to determine if it was an unmarked mine.

"Once we figure out the cause, collect enough data, we'll inject a cement, grout mixture into the underground area which then allows for those repairs to be done once everything is stabilized, " said ODNR Spokesman Eric Heis.

Seese and his family moved out of the home after officials evaluated the structure. Seese said the day they were packing up to move out -- was also his daughter's first day in kindergarten.

"She's sitting there at the end of our driveway while her whole bedroom is being moved out into the front yard," said Seese. "...it's been really tough."

It's unclear if the family will be able to move back into the home and it's not known if the home will be a total loss. A neighbor reported a crack inside their home, but the cause hasn't been confirmed.

ODNR reports the majority of abandoned mines are located under hills in eastern and southeastern Ohio. He says it's rare to find an abandoned mine under a home.

There is state insurance (Ohio Mine Subsidence Insurance) available that helps families who have been affected by unmarked, abandoned mines.

Editor's Note: Andrew Seese is an employee with the Rubber City Radio Group.

Former Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic was allegedly caught by police urinating on a tree on the University of Akron campus.

According to a UA police report, it happened shortly before midnight on Wolf Ledges Parkway. He was found standing next to a rental car, a Chevrolet Camaro, with his pants unzipped.

Plusquellic allegedly told the officers that he knows they "don't do anything" and that he "figured he would give them something to do on a slow night."

The former mayor, who resigned back in May, was issued a warning.

Thursday, 27 August 2015 09:54

KSU Prof In Trouble With Teen

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A Kent State University Professor is facing charges after Akron police found the man with a 15-year-old boy inside a car outside of an elementary school.

Akron Police Capt. Dan Zampelli said officers responded to Smith Elementary School on Chester Avenue to check on a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot around 11 p.m.

"The officers saw the car there, but they couldn't see into the car stating that the windows were steamed up," said Zampelli. "But they saw movement within the car, the car bouncing back and forth."

That's when 44-year-old Willie J. Harrell Jr. and the 15-year-old boy walked out of the car.

Zampelli says Harrell admitted to meeting the boy online three days ago and picked him up at his home before driving to the school for a planned sexual encounter. But Harrell told police that the sexual act did not occur before police arrived.

Harrell has been charged with adult curfew, although there could be additional charges depending on the outcome of the investigation.

Harrell is listed as an Associate Professor of English on KSU's website.

KSU Spokesman Eric Mansfield released this statement: 

"University leaders are aware of the arrest, and Professor Harrell has been suspended pending the investigation. He will have no contact with our students, and his courses will be taught by other faculty members."

 

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