The floor filled up fast at James A. Rhodes Arena as family, friends, and police officers from across the state gathered to honor officer Justin Winebrenner.
Gary White, a soon-to-be graduate of the Kent State Police Academy, participated in Saturday's service by passing out blue ribbons for attendees to wear. "It reminds us all of the highest paid price that we may all pay one day.", he said.
The funeral service began at 10 a.m. with eulogies from prominent figures in Akron, including Akron Police Chief James Nice, who spoke of Winebrenner's relationship with the police department as a whole.
"He loved the work, he loved the shift. He loved the officers that he worked with," says Nice."They loved him as well. It was a good fit."
Congressman Tim Ryan brought a flag with with him that was flown over the Capitol as well as a letter from President Obama.
"Our nation is grateful for the dedication, pride, and service of the first responders who risk their lives to ensure the safety of our citizens and our neighborhoods," reads Congressman Ryan from the letter.
Mayor Don Plusquellic was also in attendance, speaking out about the reality this tragedy has brought about.
"It's always somewhere else. When we see TV, pictures it's always somebody else, and then it hits home, and it's one of our own", says Plusquellic. "There's nothing like that."
Retired Barberton Judge Greg Macko, who knew both Winebrenner and his father Rob, talked about what lies ahead as the grieving period continues.
"It isn't going to be easy, and I challenge all of us in the law enforcement community to remember that need for that love and support does not end when we walk away from that grave site. It's just beginning."
At the conclusion of the service, police officers lined the front of the arena, and then took part in a procession to Holy Cross Cemetery.
On the way to Holy Cross, the procession stopped in front of the Akron Police Department, where officers and others lined the streets. Community members held signs honoring Winebrenner and his heroic actions.
Click here for more photos from the funeral service and procession.
A new series of races linked to the Akron Marathon are officially open for runner registration.
The 2015 Rubber City Race Series includes an 8k and 1-Mile race on June 27th, and a half marathon and 10k on August 15th.
The Akron Marathon itself will be held next year on September 26th.
(Akron Marathon, news release) The Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation officially opened registration for the 2015 Rubber City Race Series, a new running series developed to guide runners through a typical training schedule. The series will feature two additional event dates, an 8k and 1-Mile on June 27 and a Half Marathon and 10k on August 15, in conjunction with the original marquee race, the Akron Marathon, Half Marathon, Team Relay, & Kids Fun Run on September 26.
About 90 percent of participants as of midday Friday have registered for a package to run in all three events of the Akron Marathon Rubber City Race Series (not sure if this is where you were trying to go with this sentence). The two new race dates are each limited to 3,000 participants while the marquee event, the Akron Marathon, expects to see record participation with over 15,000 runners.
"The addition of these new races as a part of the Akron Marathon Rubber City Race Series will not only allow our existing runners the ability to enjoy two new world-class events, the shorter distance races will hopefully attract new runners to the sport of running," said Akron Marathon President & Executive Director Anne Bitong. "We've been about runner experience from day one, and the chance to grow the sport we love is really exciting!"
The June races will conclude with the Thirsty Dog Blues & Brews Finisher Festival Experience. The 1-Mile run will be fast and flat, while the 8k will offer a unique distance for both new and seasoned runners.
The August Half marathon and 10k will feature views of iconic landmarks in East Akron, including the Derby Downs, Lockheed Martin's Air Dock, and more. Finishers can then enjoy Akron's Best Food Festival with offerings of Akron's most iconic foods.
September's main event will debut a new course, featuring North Hill, Hardesty Park, and other beautiful parts of the city of Akron. Runners can expect the same great runner amenities, highlighted by the Olympic-style finish at Canal Park Stadium and an unparalleled world-class race experience.
To learn more about the new race series or to register, visit RubberCityRaceSeries.org, which features information about each event in the series, course maps, and other details about the series.
The Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation was founded in 2002 to provide a world-class marathon and other events that promote health and fitness, stimulate the local economy, galvanize the community and benefit charitable organizations. The Akron Marathon, which consists of four events including the Full and Half Marathons, the five-person Team Relay and the Kids Fun Run, has grown by more than 10,000 participants since the inaugural event in 2003. New for 2015, September's marquee event will mark the culmination of the Rubber City Race Series. The series will feature new race dates in June (8k & 1-Mile ) and August (Half marathon & 10k), providing greater opportunity for participation on all levels in the sport of running
Six more dogs have been rescued by Summit County humane officers, this time from a vacant house on Fern Street in Akron.
Two dogs were found dead. All the dogs were found caged in waste without access to food and water.
PAWSibilities, the Humane Society of Greater Akron, is caring for the surviving dogs. The agency says many of the dogs - pit bulls - found at the Fern Street house have wounds consistent with dog fighting.
The dogs' ownership can't be proven, so charges haven't been filed. There's no way to directly link the dogs found Wednesday with the dog fighting ring that was broken up on Saturday.
But the Humane Society says the injuries, and the timing of the rescue are consistent with dog fighting.
(PAWSibilities Humane Society of GreaterOn Wednesday November 19, 2014 acting on a tip from Akron Police, Sr. Humane Officer Tim Harland
and Humane Officer Shannon O'Herron, rescued (6) more pit bulls abandoned in a vacant house on Fern Street in Akron. Many of the dogs have wounds consistent with dog fighting; and were taken to the shelter at PAWSibilities®, Humane Society of Greater Akron (PHSGA.)
The dogs were found caged in their own waste without access to food or water. Sadly, there were two (2) deceased dogs. Officer O'Herron states "We walked into this situation having no true idea of what we would be facing. The only thing we knew ahead of time is that dogs could be heard barking inside of a garage on a vacant property. What we found was one of the most gruesome scenes I have witnessed in a very long time. There is no doubt in my mind that eventually all of these dogs would have died in that garage from starvation, dehydration, or complications from their wounds. It was devastating to find two deceased dogs; but I am very grateful we were made aware of this in time to save the remaining six (6) dogs".
Since ownership of these dogs can't be proven no charges have been filed. PHSGA is unable to directly link them to the dog fight broken up on Saturday Nov. 17 that led to the arrest of 47 people. However, the injuries, the timing of this rescue and the environment are consistent with dog fighting.
"This is the work we do every day to serve the people of Summit County. We rescue abandoned, abused and neglected animals. Some have probably been victims of dog fighting while others have been abused or neglected in other ways. We're asking for the community's help. Especially now, if you live near a vacant house and observe or hear unusual dog activity please contact us at (330) 487-0333 so that we can help them right away" urged Sr. Officer Harland.
Including these new dogs the organization has a record number of 147 dogs, 214 cats and 118 small animals from the seizure of 628 guinea pigs, rabbits and birds in August. We are requesting your assistance to help care for them. Charitable contributions can be made at www.summithumane.org or sent to 7996 Darrow Road, Twinsburg, OH 44087.
The man serving an 18 year to life prison term for killing a young woman in Norton won't be getting out of of prison any time soon.
The Ohio Parole Board denied another parole request by 45 year-old Richard Ashley, who's serving a sentence for murdering 18 year old Lisa Kamenar in 1989.
Ashley shot Lisa in the head despite claiming she was his friend. He also shot someone 3 years earlier at a Wisconsin cabin.
Ashley won't be considered again for parole until 2018.
(Summit County Prosecutor's Office, news release) The Ohio Parole Board agreed with the request of Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh to deny parole for Richard Ashley, 45, currently in prison for the 1989 murder of 18 year old Lisa Kamenar.
Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said, "No one deserves to lose a family member in such a senseless and callous manner as the Kamenar family did. I am pleased that justice continues to be served for this family, and people like Ashley remain in prison." Walsh added,
"In 2005, my office testified to the Board to continue Ashley's sentence. We also opposed his parole this time and are pleased with the Board's decision to deny his parole request."
Ashley, who claimed Kamenar was his friend, fatally shot her in the head at a Norton home. In a similar case in 1986, Ashley shot a person he claimed to be his friend at a cabin in Wisconsin.
Ashley is serving an 18 year to life prison term. He will not be considered for parole again until 2018.
A Canton mother has been charged with the murder of her 2-year-old son.
Bond was set at $1 million cash at an initial hearing this morning.
Katia Williams will enter a plea when the case is transferred to Stark County Common Pleas Court. Williams is charged with murder and child endangering after her toddler was found unresponsive at a 7th Street NW home on Tuesday afternoon. Police say Dalil Smith was not breathing when authorities arrived on scene.
The shooting death of Akron Police Officer Justin Winebrenner has prompted a grieving process that goes beyond Winebrenner's family and close friends. Rev. Dr. Bob Denton, the executive director of Summit County Safety Forces Chaplaincy Center, says there is a social contract between police and the public that works both ways.
"This is going to be a walk for the community, too," said Denton. "Our community has some unrest and this happens against that background and that's unfortunate."
Denton was referring to the recent fatal shooting of Raupheal Thomas of Akron by police.
He says friends in the Twinsburg Police Department predicted after the 2008 murder of Officer Josh Miktarian that it would take 5 -10 years for the department to fully bounce back. Denton has been working with officers who need to talk it through.
"The first thing we started doing was to get the information and start making a story," said Denton. "The mind is a narrative organ. It wants to know what happened and it's going to try to explain why."
Denton says it's normal for all of us to have feelings of disbelief, anger, confusion and other emotions that span the stages of grief.
A 58-year old Jackson Township man has been charged with producing child pornography following what may have been a series of events over a 32-year period involving an unknown number of boys.
Police say Joseph Kolp had a habit becoming friends with juvenile boys and eventually getting them to undress and pose for pictures. The first report came in 2002 from a 31 year old man who said it happened to him in the 1980s but similar reports have been made since then.
Police say Kolp would allow the boys to do work around his house, then he would ask them to go water skiing, and had them change clothes on his boat. The charges are directly related to an alleged water skiing invitation to a couple of North Canton boys, ages 6 and 9 a few months ago. Police say they think there may be more victims that could come forward.
The weather in the Buffalo area is having a ripple effect with sports schedules.
Kent State was supposed play Buffalo last night but it was called off because of the snow. That game will instead by played Friday afternoon. Kent was supposed to host Akron next Tuesday night, but with such a quick turnaround between games, it's also been pushed back. The Wagon Wheel game will be played next Friday afternoon at 1pm.
"We've got to have an adequate number of days between when you play games, quite frankly, said Jon Steinbrecher, commissioner of the Mid-American Conference. "And there simply isn't a sufficient recovery time on Kent State's side of it, so we had to push the game."
Steinbrecher said a truck filled with the team's equipment didn't make it to Buffalo, which is why the games were moved.
"If the equipment truck had gone were it was instructed to go, we would've played the game as scheduled.
The television schedule has yet to be released.
A police officer's presence would be required for tickets to be issued from red-light cameras around Ohio under a bill that's cleared the Ohio Senate.
Copley Republican state Senator Frank LaRose voted against the bill, saying that provision would effectively ban the cameras, making them too costly.
LaRose says that he realizes the cameras are unpopular. But LaRose when properly used, they are a proper tool.
"The city of Akron uses them only for enforcement in school zones, that makes sense," LaRose tells WAKR.net. "There are examples where it makes sense, again, as a public safety measure, if there is a particularly dangerous intersection and they need to do increased enforcement there."
The bill passed by a 24-9 bi-partisan vote and now goes to the Ohio House.
LaRose says it's possible a court would overturn such a law, giving lawmakers a chance to write proper regulations.
The Associated Press contributed to this report