Chris is the regular news anchor on WQMX's Wynn and Wilson in the Morning and WONE's Tim and Christi in the Morning programs. He first opened a microphone at WZIP-FM at The University of Akron in 1990 but got his first paid radio job delivering weekend news on WZKL-FM & WDPN-AM in Alliance. Chris then moved to WJER AM & FM in Dover where he reported on Tuscarawas County, including stories that made national headlines. Chris has been honored by his peers with first place awards from the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters including Best Reporter, Best Feature Story, and Best Broadcast Writing among others. In addition to his work as a broadcast journalist Chris has also worked in public relations and as an instructor at the University of Akron teaching Broadcast News Writing. Chris enjoys volunteer work, and has served on the boards of the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters, Public Relations Society of America (Akron Area Chapter), American Cancer Society Hope Gala Committee and currently serves on the Green Baseball/Softball Federation Board. Contact Chris through the newsroom 330-864-6397 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The 25th anniversary of The University of Akron's College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering serves less as a time of reflection and more as a visionary launching point.
Nonetheless, Dean Dr. Stephen Cheng is willing to point to several examples of the way the college has grown since 1988:
Cheng credits, among other things, the multidisciplinary approach to curriculum and research, which was not as common 25 years ago, particularly in the sciences. Chemistry and physics professors, for example, rarely worked together; instead, they were "all in silos," explained Cheng. It's that approach that has helped the college become a world leader and an important contributor to the local economy.
"The vast majority of university patents came from this college," said Cheng.
Those patents translate to dollars and the college's reputation translates to jobs. Cheng says there is a 100% placement rate among graduate students.
"We have never found anybody who cannot find a job," said Cheng. "Instead, may students have a few jobs being offered and don't know which way to go."
Several start-up companies have begun as a result of the research breakthroughs, the most significant of which are those that led to liquid crystal displays, medical devices for angioplasty and electro spinning of polymer fibers.
Now, it's time to put a spin on the focus to attract new researchers, new students and new sources of revenue. Cheng says the basic principles don't change, but they are applied in different ways by stretching more toward biomedical materials, renewable energy, environmental/construction materials and communication materials that could include micro-electronics and optical materials.
"We will not be the followers," said Cheng. "On the other hand, we will truly try to develop new ways to deal with industry, develop new materials and new technologies that can be used in all different areas."
The only way that those goals can be met is if there are students who are not only willing, but those who are academically prepared to meet the rigorous challenges. It's something Cheng talked about in one part of an AkronNewsNow series in 2011:
One man is dead following a police shooting near The University of Akron campus and it involved a UA cop.
According to a statement from the university, a UAPD officer pulled over a vehicle near Wolf Ledges Parkway and Thornton Street around 11:00 A.M., but spotted the driver pulling a gun as he approached the vehicle. The officer fired his weapon, killing the driver.
Investigators later determined that the gun, which looked like a real .45 caliber handgun, turned out to be a BB gun.
The deceased driver is identified as 64-year old James Genda of Baird Street in Akron. The Summit County Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy on Friday.
Police from UA and the city of Akron as well as the Summit County Medical Examiner's Office are all involved in the investigation.
University of Akron Police Chief Paul Callahan tells AkronNewsNow that the UA officer pulled the car over for a traffic stop because the vehicle's registration wasn't a martch to the license plate number.
" When he asked the suspect to step out of the car, allegedly the victim pointed a gun at the officer, so the officer fired on the suspect," said Callahan.
Callahan says the officer, who has more than a decade of experience on the University's police department is on leave while the investigation proceeds. " We put the officer on administrative leave with pay immediately. He obviously is pretty shook up. This is not something that officers have to deal with every day either. So we're going to give him some time to settle down , calrm down, and we'll continue with our investigation from this end of it."
Paul Callahan says the officer had to make an instant life or death decision.
A Peninsula woman is in a lot of trouble for a crash last month that sent five people to the hospital.
Stow Police say Mary Ann Mervin, 47, was drunk and driving under suspension when she caused the five-vehicle accident on Graham Road. Mervin is also charged with aggravated vehicular assault. Bond was set at $250,000 in Stow Municipal Court.
Police Chief Louis Dirker says the five people hurt in the crash are all okay now.
An Akron man will get another chance to withdraw his guilty plea to a drug charge.
Deshawn Oliver, 20, took a plea deal that sent him to prison for six months on a count of trafficking marijuana in exchange for prosecutors dropping several other charges, including aggravated burglary, tampering with evidence, carrying a concealed weapon and receiving stolen property. Oliver, however, changed his mind about a week later and wanted to withdraw the plea, arguing that the trafficking charge was not appropriate because he did not have enough marijuana to sell and telling the court that his attorney coerced him into taking the deal.
Testimony from Oliver's attorney did not support Oliver's request. A decision from the 9th District Court of Appeals says Oliver does have the right to file another motion to withdraw his plea, since his own attorney ended up working against him, essentially leaving Oliver with no legal representation at all.
Previous coverage: Akron Police Arrest Home Invasion Suspects
A portion of Cuyahoga Falls is in the dark. The city utility department says it's not widespread and seems to be limited to the downtown area.
The power went out just before 9:00 A.M. and crews are working to isolate the problem.
The outage does impact some traffic lights - remember to treat those intersections as four-way stops.
It's a light primary ballot, overall, but critically important to some school districts in Summit County.
In Barberton, voters are deciding an 8.45 mill, 5-year operating levy. Superintendent Patti Cleary says
"These dollars would just replace the lost revenue we've had over the past four to five years," said Cleary. "This will maintain the programming and the teachers that we have right now. We would not be adding more."
Cleary says Barberton is in a predicament similar to many other schools: Property values have dropped along with state funding and expenses have gone up, forcing cuts that are now edging too close to having a serious impact on education.
Coventry Superintendent Rusty Chaboudy is asking voters for a third time to provide the necessary local funding to build a new high school and renovate two existing buildings. He says the combined bond issue and permanent improvement levy totaling 5.99 mills, will actually result in an operating cost savings.
"We're going to go from four buildings to three and we're going to be able to be much more energy efficient and transportation costs would be improved because we're putting all of our buildings within a half-mile radius of one another," said Chaboudy.
As part of the levy effort, Chaboudy is trying to downplay the claims of some opponents, who are focusing on open enrollment, suggesting that the district shouldn't take in so many students from other districts, then ask district residents to cough up more money to pay for the schools. Chaboudy says Coventry is one of 77% of Ohio school districts that accept students through open enrollment. State funding associated with each student follows that student, but state funding makes up only part of a student's fiscal profile. Still, Chaboudy says the district is doing the right thing.
"For every open enrollment student, it drives down the amount of money that they are paying for the resident student and that's the point we're trying to get out to people," said Chaboudy.
Voters in Cuyahoga Falls are voting on a 3-mill permanent improvement levy and the Mogadore district is looking for passage of a 5.9-mill operating levy.
Downtown Akron is ready for summer visitors, thanks to about 400 volunteers, business owners and city workers who spent the day conducting a general spring cleaning.
You might have noticed the people wearing bright yellow or orange shirts, many of them in need of a good hand-washing after mulching, digging, scrubbing, painting, picking up trash and anything else that looked like it needed attention. Green and Clean is an annual project coordinated by Downtown Akron Partnership and one that's gaining momentum, according to DAP's Communication Director Sharon Gillberg, who says this year's force nearly doubled the number of people who helped in 2012. Gillberg says the key, however, is to keep everything looking nice as long as possible.
"We don't want it to just be a one-day thing," said Gillberg. "If you see something laying the ground, pick it up and keep this going all year long."
Listen to more from Gillberg and see pictures of the volunteers in action:
Of course, not tossing your trash is the first step.
Gillberg says downtown business owners have really embraced the idea, but she thinks a clean downtown is one that is much more likely to attract repeat visitors.
Green and Clean also includes Green Fair, featuring businesses that offer environmentally-friendly products and services.
A convicted murderer from Portage County may get another chance to prove his innocence.
It's all about whose DNA was left on a cigarette butt found at Bearnhardt and Cora Hartig's home, where they were murdered in 1990. It was established during the investigation that the DNA belonged to neither Tyone Noling, the man who was sentenced to death, nor to any other suspects. Noling contends that newer DNA testing would help to identify a new suspect and lead police to the real killer.
The judge denied the request because state law prohibited postconviction testing on evidence that was already considered "definitive." The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the trial court needs to take a second look using newer laws, specifically the one passed in 2010 that deals with DNA testing.
The case was accepted by the Ohio Supreme Court without it being offered to a district appeals court because of a law that allows such a bypass for certain components of death penalty cases.
It was a 5-2 decision, with dissenters suggesting that the case should have followed traditional legal channels.
Students at The University of Akron have some options if they need to relieve some stress as final exams approach.
The UA library system is offering extended hours and free coffee, at times, but they're also bringing in the dogs! Summa Health System's WAGTime Therapy Dogs are spending some of their days outside Summa hospitals and opting instead for UA's Bierce Library.
"In the hospital, I know it is supposed to lower blood pressure and just calm them and I know a lot of students probably miss their dogs," said Summa's Chris Peterson.
A little deeper into the library, a little deep breathing is going on ... in the form of free meditation sessions with Dr. Joe Williams.
"In order to get your studies and have it mean more to you, you have to take time - just slow down," said Williams. "You'll always have time study."
Williams says it's not just for stressful times of the semester and not just for students. He says forms of meditation can be helpful to calm adults and children before they become too anxious or too angry. According to Williams, research suggests that the average person's mind hosts about 70,000 thoughts per day, so he says it only makes sense to clear your mind once in awhile.
Akron police are looking into an attempted robbery at a convenience store. It happened around 1:30 A.M. at Circle K on Brittain Road near Chapel Hill Mall. A clerk told police a man wearing a fishnet stocking over his head approached the window and used his fingers to indicate that he had a gun, but the clerk turned around and called police. Only a vague description is available, but witnesses say he took off in a white Pontiac Grand Am.
Also, police are looking for the guy who demanded money from a woman near Iroquois and Laffer Avenues. The victim, 43, says she put up a fight, rather than giving up her purse. Then the man allegedly tried to cut the woman's neck.
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