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The Akron Zips will make it official on Monday, when they introduce 37-year-old Tom Arth as the school’s new head football coach. The native of Westlake and graduate of St Ignatius was a four-year starter at quarterback at John Carroll and will depart University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to take-over the program following the December 2 dismissal of Terry Bowden.
The Indians have shipped first baseman Yonder Alonzo to the White Sox in exchange for outfielder Alex Call...the latest move in an off-season that so far has been peppered with departures and trades that will have the fans trying to figure-out the identity of the franchise in the 2019 campaign.
Members of the Ohio Legislature this week approved providing 100-Thousand dollars in state money to help pay costs for prosecuting four suspects in the Pike County massacre. The spending measure was approved early Friday and forwarded to the desk of Governor Kasich. Last month, a Grand Jury indicted four members of the Wagner family on multiple counts of aggravated murder for the April 2016 execution murders of members of the Rhoden family. Each of the defendants appeared in court to plead not guilty and each is facing the likelihood of the death penalty if convicted as charged.
A Shalersville resident is awaiting sentencing in Portage County Court after pleading guilty to charges that she shot a dog earlier this year. 38-year-old Annette Musser copped the plea to a charge of cruelty to a companion animal, involving the incident that happened on September 16 when she reportedly got drunk and grabbed a gun to shoot the dog. With the guilty plea, other charges of obstructing official business and use of a weapon while intoxicated were dismissed. The dog survived after undergoing extensive, round-the-clock care. Musser faces a possible sentence of 12 months behind bars and a 25-hundred dollar fine when she returns to court.
A man from our area has been arrested on charges in the murder of a woman in Connecticut. 26-year-old Brandon Roberts was arrested at his father’s home in Shaker Heights on Friday. He was wanted by police in Bridgeport after the body of 25-year-old Emily Todd of Bethel was found last Sunday. She had been shot in the back of the head last Saturday, her body abandoned on the shore of Bridgeport Harbor. Roberts and Todd met on a dating app and police report that she decided to break-off the relationship after a few days. Roberts allegedly stole the victim’s car, cell phone and debit card after the crime…then withdrew money from her bank account. He was arrested without incident and is awaiting extradition.
A man is dead and the suspect who stole his vehicle is being hunted by Akron Police. The carjacking happened shortly after 9:00PM Friday in the 800 block of Brown Street, where officers arrived to find a 45-year-old man dead in a parking lot after being shot. A witness told officers that the victim’s conversion pickup truck had been stolen and police found it within minutes – abandoned at the intersection of Beaver and Gage Streets. The victim’s name is being withheld pending family notification and the Summit County Medical Examiner’s office is conducting an autopsy. Police have yet to name the suspect involved.
WNIR and Tallmadge Police are teaming-up with two Men and a Truck to provide some much-needed help for needy families in the area during the holidays and winter months to come. “Project: Be a Blessing” will happen on Sunday at First Apostolic Church in Tallmadge, where volunteers will be on-hand to collect donations of non-perishable items, toiletries and clothing. Organizers are asking people to drop-off winter coats and hats, gloves, boots, diapers, baby wipes and bath supplies…along with many other items of need. The people behind this event want to pack a Tallmadge Police cruiser and a moving van with items to help meet the need. Project: Be a Blessing happens on Sunday from Noon until 3:00PM at First Apostolic Church – 199 South Avenue in Tallmadge. For more information, call 330-633-9031.
A Federal Court judge has slapped a 12-year prison term on an Akron man, brought into custody as part of the coordinated local-Federal effort known as “Project Safe Neighborhoods.” The US Attorney’s office announced this week that 29-year-old Deonte Griffin was handed 144 months behind bars, having pled guilty to Hobbs Act Robbery, use of a firearm during a crime and being a felon in possession of a firearm. On August 30 last year, Griffin was armed with a 25-caliber handgun when he held-up a Dollar General Store in the 900 block of Copley Road on Akron’s west side.
An Akron man is facing charges after a cache of weapons and small amount of drugs were confiscated from his home by police. Akron officers had a search warrant when they visited the home of 49-year-old John McCombs of Superior Avenue. When they went inside, they gathered-up two loaded rifles, a loaded nine-millimeter handgun, a 22-caliber revolver and 45-caliber pistol. They also found a small bag of marijuana during the search. Having a prior felony conviction, McCombs was cuffed and booked on charges of weapons under disability and marijuana possession.
Akron Police relied on DNA evidence from the crime scene to locate and arrest a suspect in connection with a burglary earlier this year. On September 24, someone snapped-off a key in the door lock at a bar in the 1300 block of Brittain Road, then left heavy damage to the door while making forced entry. Inside, the place was ransacked, coin-operated machines were broken into and DJ equipment was stolen, among other items. On Friday, police announced the arrest of 40-year-old Carmarca Santino of Grand Park Avenue. He was booked into Summit County Jail on charges of breaking and entering and vandalism.
Akron Police on Friday named a suspect and later made an arrest for the theft of items from a Toys for Tots donation center on the west side. 46-year-old Calvin Hunter was wanted on a felony count of theft, accused of taking the items from First Faith Development on Easter Avenue. On Monday, he signed-up as a volunteer for the first time with apparent bad intentions…as he was recorded on surveillance camera as he allegedly made-off with the stolen goods through a back door. Losses in the rip-off were estimated around five-Thousand dollars and when word got-out about the Grinch who literally stole Christmas, an online firm donated five-Thousand dollars to help cover the loss. Akron Police FOP members delivered a truckload of toys on Thursday that had been collected from the State Lodge a few days earlier. Police reported on Friday afternoon that Calvin Hunter surrendered to police and was booked into Summit County Jail.
The victim is recovering from a knife wound after being attacked and robbed on Akron’s north side in broad daylight. Akron Police reported on Friday that the crime happened shortly after 1:00PM Thursday near East Dalton Avenue and Avon Street. The victim was approached by two assailants – one who used a knife to slice his hand as the other stole 40 dollars from his pockets before both fled. The victim was treated at City Hospital and police were looking for a pair of black males between 17 and 28 years old afterward.
Akron Police are investigating after bullets flew on the city’s west side early Thursday night. Officers responded to the 900 block of Bye Street shortly after 6:00PM after a 911 caller reported gunfire and saw a car speeding-away – hitting a car parked on the street as it fled the area. Police later found the vehicle abandoned about a block away at Shadeside Avenue and Beechwood Drive and saw heavy front-end damage and two bullet holes in the driver’s side door. A check of the plates indicated it was a rented vehicle. No suspect or victim has been identified and the investigation is ongoing.
Although a sentencing hearing was held this week on some charges, an Akron woman who’s headed to prison is expected to be tried again on a more serious murder charge for the shooting death of a man early this year. 50-year-old Hedy Moss was back in Summit County Court this week, ordered to spend eight years in prison following her convictions on charges of felonious assault, weapons under disability and tampering with evidence. The jury that heard her trial in November acquitted her on an attempted aggravated murder charge and failed to reach a verdict on other counts including murder and a second count of felonious assault. On January 16, Moss allegedly got into an argument over a stolen handgun with 55-year-old Ernest Sherman and 56-year-old James McMullen at the Gold Street home where the victims lived. She allegedly fired several rounds that hit Sherman in the head multiple times and wounded McMullen as he jumped out a window to escape. Moss will return to Summit County Court for the re-trial on the murder counts on May 6.
General Motors is doing some damage control for its reputation with blue-collar workers, announcing this week that 27-hundred among the 33-hundred jobs on the factory floors that are slated for elimination could be absorbed with additional jobs at other US locations. However, that would still require workers at the Lordstown Assembly Plant and many more at other facilities to relocate. Lordstown is on the hit list among four plants that the automaker intends to close-down. 26-hundred factory employees in Canada and around eight-Thousand white-collar workers are included in the cuts that were announced last month – part of GM’s plan to slash 14-Thousand employees from the payroll.
Nearly two years after the young victim’s body was found, demolition crews on Friday morning leveled the house where the body of Aliana DeFreeze was recovered after she had been raped and murdered. The family of the 14-year-old girl had been demanding the vacant house in Cleveland be demolished for nearly two years and shortly before 8:00AM Friday, a crew began tearing into the walls and reduced the structure to nothing more than a pile of debris within about 45 minutes. DeFreeze was reported missing on January 27 last year and her body was found in the structure three days later. In March, 45-year-old Christopher Whittaker was convicted on charges of aggravated murder, rape and kidnapping – then sent to Ohio’s Death Row and labeled a sex offender for his crimes.
Following a late-light, lame-duck session that extended into early Friday morning, members of the Ohio House completed review of Senate changes to the so-called “heartbeat bill” and voted to send it to the Governor’s desk – where Governor Kasich has already pledged to strike-down the new abortion restriction with his veto pen. Lawmakers for a second time approved the measure that would outlaw abortions at the first detectable sign of a heartbeat, as early as six weeks into pregnancy. The updated bill moves the timeline to around 10 weeks and would not require ultrasound to be performed on expectant mothers who seek abortions. Kasich vetoed a similar effort in 2016 and if he strikes it down, there’s a possibility that the Legislature may return for a possible override vote. The House, however, didn’t have the required 60 votes to do so when the measure was forwarded to the Statehouse.
His threats to his wife and law enforcement has earned the son of an Akron Councilwoman a term behind the walls of a Federal Prison. 25-year-old Brian Newell went before a Federal Court judge this week, when he was sentenced to eight months in prison and another eight months on house arrest for the threats made by telephone on April 8. In August, Newell pleaded guilty to charges of transmitting threats across state lines. Earlier this year, he threatened to kill his wife and kids. One month later, he was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on charges connected with the threatening comments he made on social media, where he said he wanted to kill a police officer and alluded to a mass shooting that happened in Las Vegas during a music festival last year.
Police in Stow are continuing the hunt for the suspect who robbed a bank on Thursday afternoon. Police reported on Friday that the crime happened at a PNC Bank branch in the 800 block of Graham Road, where the suspect handed the teller a note claiming to have a gun and demanding money. Although no weapon was seen, the teller handed-off some cash and the bandit fled the scene. The suspect is a black male around 30 years old, five-feet-ten in height with short facial hair, glasses, possible dreadlocks and a tattoo on the right side of his neck. He wore a Nike ball cap over a black bandanna tied around his head and a black sweat shirt with the word “California” emblazoned on the front and blue jeans. Police need tips from witnesses at 330-689-5700.
Governor Kasich is still not tipping his hand…but said this week that if he’s going to make a third stab at being elected to the White House, he would prefer to run as a Republican. During an interview this week, he added that he will only enter a Primary race if he thinks he has a chance at winning. He added, however, that he doubts he’d be able to unseat president Trump if an election were held today. Trump recently said that he would hope that Kasich or retiring Arizona Senator Jeff Flake would jump into a Primary challenge…but Kasich said this week that any such decision is a long way off.