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John "Couchburner" Denning

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Akron man shot and killed

Jan 27, 2020 -- 11:30am

An investigation is underway after an Akron man was shot and killed yesterday afternoon. Akron police say, officers were sent to a home in the 2600 block of Nesmith Lake Boulverad around 12:40 pm. When they arrived on scene , they found 41 year-old Duane May , of Akron unresponsive with a gunshot to the torso. He was transported to AGMC where he later died.

No injuries in early morning school bus crash

Jan 27, 2020 -- 10:24am

No one was injured after a Ravenna school bus was involved in an accident with a vehicle around 7:50 this morning. The Record-Courier says, it happened on Lake Street near Brady Lake Road in Franklin Township. Kent police said no students were on the bus and no one was injured. No other information has been provided.

Ravenna police investigate early morning stabbing

Jan 27, 2020 -- 10:20am

The Ravenna Police Deprtment is looking for additional information following a stabbing incident that occurred early this morning. The Record Courier reports, a 31 year-old man was stabbed around 4:45 am on Chestnut Street near Harris Avenue. The man's name has not yet been released. Police say, the stabbing occurred after an argument between three men and the victim. The victim told police he yelled at three men in a car because their music was too loud, but wasn't able to provide additional information. No arrests have been made. If you have information, call Ravenna police at 330-296-6486.

Latest: Death of NBA star Kobe Bryant

Jan 27, 2020 -- 10:13am

 Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva says his department's helicopters were grounded due to weather in the area where a helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant and eight other people crashed and burned Sunday morning.
     Conditions were extremely foggy when the NBA legend's helicopter went down northwest of Los Angeles on a hillside in the city of Calabasas, killing everyone aboard.
     The sheriff told a press conference that debris is scattered over an area the size of a football field.
     The county medical examiner, Dr. Jonathan Lucas, says recovery of remains may take several days. Lucas says investigators will try to make identifications of the victims as quickly as possible.

Gas prices drop

Jan 27, 2020 -- 8:00am

The average U.S . price of regular-grade gasoline has dropped 4 cents a gallon to $2.60 over the past two weeks. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg survey said yesterday that the pump price responded to a drop in crude oil costs. The highest average price in the nation for regular-grade gas is $3.58 in Honolulu...the lowest average is $2.16 in Houston. The average price of diesel is $3.05, down two cents.

One dead after hostage situation

Jan 27, 2020 -- 7:14am

Cleveland police are investigating a deadly shooting that occurred around 11 pm last night.

The shooting occurred at an apartment in the 2600 block of Division Avenue. According to police, an armed suspect was holding two people hostage. Fox 8 reports, police were able to get the hostages out of the apartment. Cleveland EMS transported a 29 year-old male to the hospital in critical condition. He had been shot. The TV station reports, police found a 70-year-old dead inside the apartment. He also had been shot. No one has been identified.


Natiomnal Veterans Museum set to open exhibit about Ohio's own Bob Hope

Jan 27, 2020 -- 6:43am

(AP) -
An exhibit exploring comedian Bob Hope's major tours and travels during World War II is set to open this month at the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Ohio. "So Ready for Laughter: The Legacy of Bob Hope" opens Friday and runs through April 17 at the museum in Columbus. The exhibit features nearly 50 artifacts and an original documentary. It's a return home of sorts for Hope, who died in 2003. He grew up in Cleveland. His USO shows for troops are a big part of his legacy. Hope made nearly 60 tours for the United Service Organization between 1941 and 1991.

School board to vote on new deal with Akron teachers

Jan 27, 2020 -- 5:18am

The Akron Public School Board will vote tonight after teachers in the district overwhelmingly accepted a new labor agreement over the weekend. The deal will take effect if the school board follows suit. The Beacon Journal reports, negotiations between the two sides broke down last year after the three -year contract expired in June. The two sides had been negotiating since March, but several issues remained unsolved. The contract covers 24-hundred teachers in the district. The newspaper reports, the school board will vote at its regularly scheduled 5:30 pm meeting. A federal mediator would be called in if the board rejects the fact finders report.

Standoff situation ends peacefully

Jan 27, 2020 -- 4:24am

Police responded to a standoff situation in Parma Heights on Saturday. The Special Weapons and Tactics Unit was called to a home on Queens Highway near Snow Road around 3 pm. News 5 in Cleveland reports, a landlord attempted to conduct a premise check and serve an eviction notice. Officers were called to the house after a woman who had felony warrants barricaded herself inside the home. Police were able to take the woman into custody more than four hours after the incident began. She was taken into custody. No one was hurt. A 7 year-old child was in the home at the time, but is now safe with family.

Investigation into fatal fire

Jan 27, 2020 -- 4:19am

An investigation is underway after a fire swept through a Cleveland home early Sunday morning killing a 59 year-old woman. Authorities say the woman was unable to escape the flames at the house near West 49th Street and Oakley Avenue. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Three adults and four children were able to get out safely. Then cause of the fire is unknown. The Red Cross is assisting the family.

Proposal would create Ohio database of convicted sex buyers

Jan 27, 2020 -- 4:09am

Individuals convicted of trying to buy sex or trafficking women for sex wound be placed on a publicly accessible database for five years, under legislation in the Ohio House. Supporters say the legislation is aimed at shining a light on traffickers who sell women and on men who buy sex. Individuals would automatically drop off the database if five years pass without another conviction. If a conviction was overturned before that, they could petition the Attorney general's office to have their name removed. One lawmaker says the bill goes after the demand side of prostitution and that it could provide the deterrent needed to stop people from soliciting sex.

United Way offering free tax service

Jan 27, 2020 -- 4:02am

Today is the first day you can file your 2019 tax return and the United Way of Stark County is making the process easier for people in Stark, Carroll and Tuscarawas counties. Through their Volunteer Tax Assistance program, they're able to get their taxes done for FREE. The program is completely volunteer-based and volunteers are certified by the IRS to help people file their taxes. Then program is funded by the United Way. Individuals who make $65,000 or less, or married couple who make $95,000 or less can participate. To schedule an appointment, visit www.uwstark.org/vita or call 330-994-VITA, Monday-through Thursday 10 am to 5 pm.

Robert Sassaman — 1939-2020

Jan 25, 2020 -- 10:23am


Friends and family will take time this weekend to remember a longtime associate and friend here at WNIR, honoring the memory of the late Bob Sassaman.

The 1957 graduate of Newton Falls High School attended Kent State University and served on the State Highway Patrol along with his duties as Chief Engineer at WNIR.

Bob also founded and provided continued support for the campus radio station at Northwest High School in Canal Fulton, where he served in many capacities in support of the Basketball program…and was a devoted supporter of all the Northwest Indians’ sports programs for nearly 50 years.

He was inducted as a contributor as a member of the Inaugural Class of the Northwest Sports Hall of Fame.

He passed-away from an extended illness on January 12 and will be missed by all of us who knew him.

Robert Sassaman was 80 years old.


Woman Killed in Area Crash

Jan 25, 2020 -- 10:22am


A two-vehicle crash in Wayne County claimed the life of one of the drivers on Friday afternoon. The State Highway Patrol reports the crash occurred around 2:45PM in Canaan Township, where a car ran a stop sign at an intersection, then was hit by an oncoming SUV that wasn’t able to stop before impact. The car came to a stop in the front yard of a nearby home and the SUV hit a utility pole. The driver of the car was identified as 89-year-old Elizabeth Gasser and she was pronounced dead at the scene. The 18-year-old SUV driver was taken to a hospital for treatment of undisclosed injuries.


Area Man Convicted for Sex with Boys

Jan 25, 2020 -- 10:21am


A tow truck driver in the area has been convicted on charges that he paid a pair of teenage boys for sex. The jury that heard his case in Mahoning County Court deliberated only around three hours on Friday before finding 31-year-old Alex Bugno of Poland guilty on all charges filed against him. Bugno came under scrutiny by police and raids were conducted at his towing firm and a storage facility in Struthers in 2014, when authorities were tipped-off about his crimes. He had paid the 16- and 17-year-old boys between 200 and 500 dollars each in several instances for sex with the kids between February and June 2014. Some of the encounters were videotaped and shared on the Internet. Bugno was convicted on 14 charges of compelling prostitution and one count of pandering obscenity involving a minor. He returns to court on Monday, when he faces up to 50 years in prison.


OH Jobless Figures Released

Jan 25, 2020 -- 10:21am


Ohio's unemployment rate held steady at 4.2-percent in December for the fourth month in a row. State officials said Friday that seasonally-adjusted nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased by 98-hundred jobs in December, with 5.6-Million people employed. The number of those unemployed in Ohio was up one-Thousand from November to December. The number of those unemployed decreased by four-Thousand. Ohio's unemployment rate the previous December stood at 4.6-percent. The national rate of unemployment was 3.5-percent in December, unchanged from the previous month, and down from 3.9-percent in December 2018.


Lawyers Argue Death Specifications for Accused Killer’s Trial

Jan 25, 2020 -- 10:18am


With his trial yet to come, lawyers for both the prosecution and defense engaged in back-and-forth filings in Summit County Court this week in the case of an accused arsonist and killer. The Becon Journal reports that the defense for 60-year-old Stanley Ford Jr of Akron is trying to remove death penalty specifications in his upcoming trial, claiming he suffers a condition that’s causing deterioration of his brain…and that putting him to death if convicted would constitute cruel and unusual punishment. Prosecutors countered that Ford knows exactly what’s going on in the court and what’s at stake for his future. He’s up on multiple charges of aggravated murder and aggravated arson, stemming from two separate house fires in 2016 and the following year that killed a total of nine people including five children. Prosecutors contend that Ford had an ongoing feud with his neighbors and decided once and for all to get rid of them. Jury selection for the trial starts next month and the case is due to begin with opening statements on March 10.


OH Man Indicted on Teen Sex-Trafficking Charges

Jan 25, 2020 -- 10:16am


A northwest Ohio man has been indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on charges of sex-trafficking of minors. The US Attorney’s office announced that 24-year-old Tyrone Cannon of Toledo allegedly pushed the sex services of two young girls, ages 16 and 17, between April and May last year. He’s now facing mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years in prison and a label as a sex offender if convicted as charged.


Fatal crash in Wayne County

Jan 25, 2020 -- 5:00am

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal crash which occurred yesterday afternoon in Wayne County. The patrol says, around 2:45 pm , a vehicle failed to stop at a stop sign at an intersection in Canaan Township. The vehicle pulled into the path of an SUV, which then struck the front of the woman's car,causing it to spin and come to rest in a nearby yard. The driver of the car, later identified as 89 year-old Elizabeth Gasser, was pronounced dead at the scene. The teen driver of the SUV was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment. This is the first fatal crash in Wayne County in 2020.

Paton Withdraws from Browns GM Consideration

Jan 24, 2020 -- 5:01pm


You can scratch Minnesota Vikings Assistant General Manager George Paton from the running for the Browns’ GM job. Paton has removed himself from consideration after going through two interviews with the Cleveland braintrust in Berea this week, becoming the only candidate so far to have two sit-down meetings about the vacancy in Cleveland. The front office apparently liked the idea of connecting Paton with new Head Coach Kevin Stefanski in leadership positions with the Browns, having hired Stefanski from the Vikings on January 12…but Paton was reportedly not convinced enough to leave Minnesota due to unmentioned issues within the Cleveland organization. That leaves the Browns at Square One with regard to landing a new General Manager to replace John Dorsey, who mutually agreed with the Haslams that he would not return on December 31.


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