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John "Couchburner" Denning
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Woman charged with conspiracy involving nearly 1,000 people from NE Ohio

Jul 31, 2014 -- 11:50am

An Atlanta-area woman was charged with fraud conspiracy involving nearly 1,000 people fro northeast Ohio. 35 year-old Zinara Highsmith, of Fayettville, Georgia , was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud. She is accused of filing approximately 2,700 false tax returns containing false refund claims of more than $4.8 million. Approximately 964 false claims were made on behalf of people living in northeast Ohio, resulting in false claims of nearly 1.7 million. 

13-year-old driver leads Akron police on high speed chase

Jul 31, 2014 -- 11:39am

A 13 year-old teen driver along with a 14-year-old passenger led Akron police on a high speed chase around 2 this morning.....Police say, officers were unaware of the age of the vehicles occupants when they attempted to stop the vehicle , which was traveling on East Avenue without headlights or tail lights. Akron officers terminated the chase as the vehicle headed into Copley , and Copley police were then notified. The suspects' vehicle was located at the address the license plates were registered to, and the 13-year-old boy at the home admitted to being the driver of the vehicle. He told officers he fled from police because he didn't want to get a ticket for driving without a license. He was charged with failure to comply with an order, or signal of a police officer. 

13-year-old driver leads Akron police on high speed chase

Jul 31, 2014 -- 11:39am

A 13 year-old teen driver along with a 14-year-old passenger led Akron police on a high speed chase around 2 this morning.....Police say, officers were unaware of the age of the vehicles occupants when they attempted to stop the vehicle , which was traveling on East Avenue without headlights or tail lights. Akron officers terminated the chase as the vehicle headed into Copley , and Copley police were then notified. The suspects' vehicle was located at the address the license plates were registered to, and the 13-year-old boy at the home admitted to being the driver of the vehicle. He told officers he fled from police because he didn't want to get a ticket for driving without a license. He was charged with failure to comply with an order, or signal of a police officer. 

Fired OSU band director says he was fixing culture

Jul 31, 2014 -- 8:30am

The fired Ohio State University marching band director says he was working to change a culture of hazing and inappropriate rituals among members. Johnathan Waters detailed the changes he was trying to make in a seven-page document prepared when the university began investigating allegations of problems with the band. The university fired Walters last week after an investigation concluded that he knew about, but failed to stop rituals that included students being pressured to march in their underwear, sing lewd songs, and perform sexually themed stunts that yielded often explicit nicknames. Waters says he was taking steps to change the culture of hazing, inappropriate behavior and vulgar language. 

Panic buttons in Akron schools

Jul 31, 2014 -- 7:57am

Panic buttons are being installed at Akron public schools. The panic buttons, at a cost of over $700,000, are the kind a bank teller pushes to trigger a silent alarm during a robbery. The buttons will be installed in or near every school's main office. It's the latest safety measure in Akron schools. 

Kent man sentenced in shooting on Kent campus

Jul 31, 2014 -- 7:46am

A Kent man who sent Kent State University into lock down mode in April after firing a gun on campus has been sentenced to two months in prison and five years probation, and has been banned from campus. 24 year-old Quavaughtay Tyler, of Lake Street, pleaded guilty to one count of carrying a concealed weapon, inducing panic, tampering with evidence. Police responded to KSU April 2 after a report of shots fired near Bowman Hall. It was reported that Tyler got into an argument with two women outside Bowman Hall. He pulled out a handgun during the argument, and fired one shot. The bullet struck him in the left hand, and he fled. No one else was injured.

Hudson teachers say 'yes' to 3 year deal

Jul 31, 2014 -- 7:33am

Teachers in the Hudson school district have approved a three-year contract that calls for raises and the start of a performance-based pay schedule. All teachers will receive a 2.25 percent raise and several step increases for longevity this school year. The Beacon reports, in the second year of the contract, teachers with “skilled or accomplished” evaluations will receive 2 percent raises and step increases. In the final year of the pact, those teachers with the same high evaluations will receive 1.75 percent raises and step increases. State law mandates that school districts adopt a performance-based raise formula in new contracts.

Ohio mumps cases now number 469

Jul 31, 2014 -- 7:00am

The number of mumps cases in the recent central Ohio outbreak has reached 469 cases. Columbus Public Health says the number of cases linked to this year's outbreak in Franklin, Delaware and Madison counties is more than in the entire country last year. Patients have ranged from 4 months to 80 years, with many cases linked to Ohio State University. Officials are still urging people to get the measles-mumps-rubella vaccination. Ohio health officials also have been battling a measles outbreak in the state this year.

Officials discuss sales tax increase

Jul 31, 2014 -- 6:49am

Summit County officials plan to discuss the proposed quarter-percent sale tax increase on the Nov. ballot at a meeting later this afternoon. Officials declined to provide advance details on the announcement , scheduled for 2 pm at the Summit County Emergency Operations Center in Akron City Hall. County executive Russ Pry says the permanent tax would raise about $20 million a year, much of it going for safety efforts. The sales tax issue has faced stiff opposition from several groups. A couple of stumbling blocks- this would be a permanent tax increase and, the public has focused on the fact the tax also would build a $76 million arena in downtown Akron for the University of Akron.

Barberton man sentenced to life in prison for killing mom

Jul 31, 2014 -- 6:02am

A Barberton man was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole after being convicted of killing his mother and living with her corpse for about six months. 33 year-old Michael Petrie, of 23rd Street NW, was convicted last week on charges of murder, aggravated murder and abuse of a corpse. 

Murder Trial in Holding Pattern

Jul 30, 2014 -- 5:12pm

Summit County Judge Paul Gallagher on Wednesday ordered a hold to the scheduled start for a trial that was slated next week for an accused killer. The judge wants to review the status to determine whether a new jury will be needed in the case of 22-year-old Deshannon Haywood, the second man to be brought to trial in the April 2013 shooting deaths of two men and two young women at a townhouse near Chapel Hill Mall on Kimlyn Circle. Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands recused herself from the proceedings this week. Haywood faces a possible death sentence if convicted as charged in the slayings.

 

 

More Fines for Prison Food Provider

Jul 30, 2014 -- 3:52pm

The Ohio prisons director Gary Mohr says the state has levied a second fine against the private vendor that took over the job of feeding inmates last year. The fine of more than 130-Thousand dollars was determined earlier this month against Philadelphia-based Aramark Correctional Services, ahead of testimony before a state prisons oversight committee hearing concerns about Aramark's performance. Mohr said the fine relates to continued staff shortages, unacceptable food substitutions and sanitation issues. The state levied a 142-Thousand dollar fine against Aramark in April. Problems like maggots in food, staffing shortages and reports of running out of food have emerged since Aramark took over.

 

 

Grant Funds Pump New Aid to Area Departments

Jul 30, 2014 -- 3:02pm

The Akron Fire Department will receive more than 1.3-Million dollars in grant money from the Federal government, designated for operations and safety by the US Department of Homeland Security's FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grants program. Additionally, Mogadore Fire Department has been told it will receive over 666-Thousand dollars while Springfield Fire Department will benefit from 346-Thousand dollars in grant funds. The dollars can be used for training, facility upgrades and supplies including protective equipment. Springfield has already said they plan to use their funds to replace an aging fire truck.

 

 

Gas leak on KSU Campus - UPDATE

Jul 30, 2014 -- 2:50pm

About 100 people were evacuated as a precautionary measure from Cunningham Hall on the Kent State campus just before Noon on Wednesday. University spokesman Eric Mansfield told WNIR News that a small gas leak was reported in the building located north of Summit Street near Petrarca Drive, resulting in response from Kent and Brimfield Fire crews. The leak was reported around 11:35AM and crews worked floor-to-floor to identify the source and shut-off the gas so repairs could be made. No one was hurt, but barricades were put-up as a precaution to keep people away from the building until it could be ventilated. Dominion East Ohio crews worked to repair the leak. The all-clear was sounded at 2:50PM and everyone was allowed back inside the building.

 

 

Tribe Trades Masterson

Jul 30, 2014 -- 2:48pm

The Indians on Wednesday afternoon pulled the trigger on a trade that sent Justin Masterson to the St Louis Cardinals in exchange for minor league outfielder James Ramsey. Masterson, who was due to become a free agent at the end of the season, has struggled through a 4-6 record on the mound with a 5.51 ERA. He was put on the 15 day Disabled List on July 8 after giving-up five runs on six hits in just over two inningS of work against the Yankees....just one year after making the All-Star team and going 14-10 with three shut-outs. Ramsey is 24 years old and was the 23rd overall pick in the 2012 draft out of Florida State. Baseball America ranked him the number-eight prospect for St Louis going into the season.

 

 

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