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
UPDATE 2:52 p.m.
Cleveland Browns President Mike Holmgren confirms that the team is for sale by current owner Randy Lerner, with talks now underway with a Nashville, Tennessee buyer with billions of dollars to spend for one of the most valuable franchises in sports.
The Browns are worth nearly a billion dollars, according to most estimates. Tennessee billionaire Jimmy Haslam III, who's family started and still manages the Pilot-Flying J Travel Center and Truck Stops across the nation, is currently a minority owner in the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Haslam family also includes the current Governor of Tennessee.
The lawyer for the team, according to media reports, says there are no plans and no considerations to moving the Browns. Cleveland government officials also point out the Browns have a long-term lease at Cleveland Browns Stadium still in force.
Could the Cleveland Browns soon have a new owner?
There have been rumors and now current owner Randy Lerner has issued a statement saying that he is negotiating with Jimmy Haslam, who wants to make an investment in the team. Lerner did not specify whether that investment would make Haslam a partner or something more.
Jimmy Haslam III is the son of the man who founded the "Flying J" chain of truck and travel stops, and the family is worth billions. It's the 11th biggest privately-owned company in the world according to Forbes magazine.
Estimates peg the worth of the Browns franchise at just shy of a billion dollars, one of sports' most valuable properties. Both sides say they'll keep details private for the time being.
The statement in its entirety that was emailed to reporters:
(Browns news release) In connection with current rumors and press inquiries, I can report that I’ve been approached by Mr. Jimmy Haslam, who is interested in making an investment in the Cleveland Browns. We are currently in negotiations and both sides have agreed to keep that dialogue and its details private. Given that any transaction would require League approval, care has been taken so that this process will not be disruptive to the organization, in particular the football team, as it prepares for the upcoming season. We will share further details or make an announcement if it becomes necessary.
It sounds like police arrived just in time to prevent a burglar from getting away with anything.
A Cleveland man is being held on various charges after Streetsboro police say he broke into Buffalo Wild Wings on State Route 14.
Lt. Darin Powers says the restaurant's alarm system went off around 2:30 a.m. Police arrived to find a cut phone line outside and a guy with a ski mask inside. Powers says that's when Thomas Yafanaro, 48, ran out the front door, where officers were waiting.
The cops say Yafanaro was still wearing the ski mask and carrying pry bar, wedge and gloves.
Police say three cash registers were damaged but nothing was missing.
An Akron man is dead following a two-vehicle crash in New Franklin.
State troopers at the Canton patrol post say it happened about 12:40 p.m. Tuesday when a minivan driven by George Derry, 73, pulled out of a parking lot on Manchester Road and into the path of a panel van driven by William Palmeri, 33, also of Akron. The impact sent Derry's van off the road.
Palmeri and his passenger were not hurt, but Derry was pronounced dead at Baberton City Hospital about 45 minutes after the wreck.
Troopers say Derry was not wearing a safety belt.
The crash is still under investigation.
School districts across Ohio have one more year to prepare for the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. It means, among other things, that third graders can either read at a certain level or they are automatically held back up to two times.
Dr. Evonne Welton, an associate dean at The University of Akron's College of Education. Welton says that some parts of the plan have merit, but key components just boil down to another unfunded mandate that is leaving cash-strapped school districts worried.
"The extra teachers, the individualized help that they get pre-third grade and the other issue is that if they (students) are retained, they're (administrators) going to need more third grade classrooms.
Welton says if the guarantee was already in effect, 27-thousand students statewide, including about 30-percent of Akron third graders, would be back in a third grade classroom this fall.
Welton says more thought needs to go into making a student repeat a grade.
"Long term studies show that there's an increased dropout rate for students that are retained, there's a higher incidence of unemployment, there's less likelihood that they'll go on to college and their self-confidence is ruined.
Welton says there are already programs in place to help struggling students, but making those more comprehensive would be a better plan, even though they are more labor-intensive.
There doesn't appear to be much confidence in the Akron Zips this football season.
Not a shocker, given that the Zips posted only one win in each of the last two seasons, but reporters in the annual preseason poll are not picking Akron to finish last. That distinction goes to UMass, playing in the league for the first time this season. If media members are right, the Zips will finish second to last.
They're picking Kent State to come in fourth. Ohio University tops the poll, and Toledo is the top vote-getter in the West Division.
The Ohio Bobcats and the Toledo Rockets have been selected to win the East and West Divisions respectfully in the 2012 Mid-American Conference Football Preseason Poll. The poll was announced at the league’s annual Football Media Day at Ford Field in Detroit and was determined by members of the league’s media contingent. The Bobcats also were selected to win the 2012 Marathon MAC Football Championship.
In the East Division, Ohio was selected with 119 total points followed by second-place Bowling Green with 91 points. In the West Division it was a narrow margin as only eight points separated the top three spots with Toledo gathering 87 points, followed by second-place Northern Illinois with 83 points and third-place Western Michigan with 79 points.
This obviously reflects on the competitive nature of the MAC. In the last four years the conference has witnessed six different programs compete in the Marathon MAC Football Championship Game and ten of the 13 football programs have appeared in a bowl game in that span.
Ohio garnered all 17 first-place votes en route to a clear favorite of the poll in the East Division. The Bobcats return 49 letter winners and 15 starters from last year’s 10-4 team that won the MAC East Division Title and went on to defeat Utah State, 24-23, in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Ohio won its first bowl game in program history and will return starting quarterback Tyler Tettleton, who threw for 3,286 yards and 28 touchdowns.
The Bobcats were followed by Bowling Green (91) and Miami (84), who were separated by only seven points for second and third respectively in the preseason ranking. Kent State was picked fourth, followed by Buffalo, Akron and UMass.
Toledo racked up seven first place votes in the West Division to propel the Rockets to first place with 87 points. Toledo welcomes back 48 letter winners and 12 starters from last year’s team that went 9-4 overall, 7-1 in conference play, and defeated Air Force, 42-41, in the Military Bowl. First-year Head Coach Matt Campbell spent the last three seasons as the Rockets Offensive Coordinator and he’ll return quarterback-tandem Austin Dantin and Terrance Owens to lead his Rockets potent offensive attack.
Northern Illinois was picked second in the West Division and earned five first place votes and totaled 83 points. Western Michigan was selected third and also garnered four first place votes and 79 points.
Ball State was picked fourth, followed by Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan.
The 2012 season kicks off on Thursday, August 30 with five games, including four non-conference games and one conference game between Ball State and Eastern Michigan.
The 2012 Marathon MAC Football Championship Game is Friday, November 30 at 7:00 pm from Ford Field in Detroit.
Team (First Place Votes) Points
MAC East Division
1. Ohio (17) 119
2. Bowling Green 91
3. Miami 84
4. Kent State 76
5. Buffalo 52
6. Akron 31
7. UMass 23
MAC West Division
1. Toledo (7) 87
2. Northern Illinois (5) 83
3. Western Michigan (4)79
4. Ball State 42
5. Eastern Michigan 34
6. Central Michigan (1) 32
2012 Marathon MAC Championship Game Winner: Ohio 5; Toledo 3; Northern Illinois 1; Western Michigan 1 and Central Michigan 1.
Note: Several voters did not select a winner for the MAC Championship.
Ohio's farmers had every reason to be happy during the spring months ... unseasonably warm temperatures, little rain and crops planted on time if not early.
Despite Thursday's downpour, thoughts of a near-perfect growing season have dried up, along with the soil as most of the state is in a drought. According to the Ohio Farm Bureau, the lack of rain is literally killing the crops. We're not talking about sweet corn, tomatoes or cucumbers, although those plants need water, too. We're talking about feed corn, soybeans, wheat and hay.
"What we're looking at now is a matter of how much yield loss farmers are going to face," said OFB Communications Director Joe Cornely. "There's very little doubt that we're cutting into yield. It's just a question of how much."
Cornely says those jeopardized crops may not seem important to the consumer - this isn't the stuff you buy at a roadside stand. There are two reasons, according to Cornely that we should all care about these crops. Much of the yield is used to feed livestock and make other foods.
"You may not recognize it, but there's a derivative of corn, soybeans or wheat in almost everything we eat either directly or indirectly as a livestock feed," said Cornely.
He says as much as 50 of the yield has already died in some fields.
There are always more questions and answers in situations like the one today in Aurora, CO. A gunman opened fire inside a movie theater, killing 12 and injuring dozens more.
The biggest question: Why?
A University of Akron professor and retired Akron Police detective who specializes in criminal profiling says accused shooter James Holmes had a reason for his alleged actions.
"In this kind of a case, where he deliberately planned this, obviously planned it out, so he has a huge motive," said Mary Myers. "Whether we can understand it, I don't know."
Authorities report that Holmes' apartment was booby trapped.
"So, obviously he's into the game of it," said Myers. "He's doing some magical thinking. He's probably had a psychotic break. He's not in touch with the same reality that we are. He probably believed he was doing some courageous or vengeful act."
Myers says she would look into the gaming world to get some insight into what makes James Holmes tick.
"There's a real probably that this person took on this persona in real life or in his games, so I'd be looking for who disappeared from that gaming world in order to try to better understand his motive of his personality, said Myers."
Some organizations that represent school district special interests are speaking out about the record amount of money dispersed to schools by the Ohio Lottery.
The lottery is handing over a record $771 million in profits - more than predicted. Nobody is complaining that the state is getting extra money, but members of the Ohio School Boards Association, Buckeye Association of School Administrators and the Ohio Association of School Business Officials are jointly reminding people that extra lottery money does not add up to extra money in struggling school districts.
"The appropriation amount, that is, the budged amount in the state budget doesn't automatically change just because the lottery commission managed to have additional revenue," said BASA Director of Governmental Relations Tom Ash. "The budget amount was set in the current budget and that's what it is until next June 30th."
That means the department of education - and, thus, the state's 600+ school districts - is given a budget that's determined by the legislature, which is also the body charged with overseeing virtually all revenue. Unexpectedly high profits benefit the state coffers, but not necessarily budget line items for schools.
Ash says too many people think the extra money negates the need for more local funding.
"Those districts that are asking for money in August or November really do need it and the increase in revenue through the lottery commission will not impact that need," said Ash.
Ash says it's unnecessary to change the way the money is allocated because there's no way to predict during the budgeting process how much money the lottery will produce. He would like to see extra money being given to the schools for specific purposes, such as technology or additional teacher training, rather than just being thrown into a general purpose fund with the state.
He must have responded to countless accidents like the one that ended his life.
John Mason, 57, is dead following a crash on I-76 in Tallmadge Tuesday night.
Mason, as reported in the Record Courier, was a captain and EMS coordinator for the Suffield Fire Department. He was also the associate director of the Portage County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
Suffield firefighters say Mason went off the side of the road on his way home from work last night, possibly triggered by a medical problem.
On the Web: www.recordpub.com
The Ohio Department of Transportation found a way to save $2 million a year and it has nothing to do with cutting jobs, reducing salaries or even buying cheaper supplies.
Instead, it's all about electricity.
ODOT has offices, garages and other facilities all over the state. Not surprisingly, according to ODOT Director Jerry Wray, there are a number of electricity providers. The department accepted bids from several providers that could serve all of ODOT's operations. DP&L Energy Resources submitted the best bid and will serve as the state's sole provider - at least for the next 24 months.
Wray says the annual savings is enough to pay for paving a 20-mile, two lane road.
He hopes to find a similar deal for natural gas service.
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