This week, we'll look at how the internet which brings us together with friends and family on social media--is also helping to tear our society apart, and threaten our very existence.
Sound extreme? Well, from the indictment of 13 Russian nationals charged with interfering with the 2016 Presidential election, to Akron-Canton area teens arrested over the past week for making online threats; social media is being used in ways that its creators never dreamed--and which for many--has become a nightmare.
The Summit County Sheriff's Office was tipped off to an online threat that was made against students from Green Middle School on social media.
According to Sheriff's Inspector Bill Holland, on Sunday, February 18th, the suspect, a 14-year-old former student at Green Middle School threatened to shoot students and then sent them a picture of a gun.
Later that day, police arrested the teenager at his home in Bedford, where he lives currently with his family.
When police searched the home, the reportedly did not find a weapon.
The teeanage is charged with Telecommunications Harassment, a first degree misdemeaner, and booked in Summit County Jail.
Akron Police have arrested a 16-year-old Ellet High School student after making threats online that referenced the Parkland, Florida shooting that left 17 people dead on Valentines Day.
The student, whose name hasn't been released because he is a juvenile, allegedly posted a message to Snapchat indicating that he was going to "shoot up Ellet High School" and entitled, allegedly, the note "I hate Florida, part 2."
Employees of Ellet High School, who also have parents that attend the school, notified police about the messages.
Lt. Rick Edwards with the Akron Police Department tells the 1590 WAKR newsroom that the student admitted to making the threat on the social media platform.
The boy has been booked in Summit County Jail on the third degree felony charges of making terroristic threats.
Akron Police were notified of another threat that was posted to Facebook referencing a past school shooting and claiming that the author of the post, very specifically, was going to carry out an attack on Firestone High School. The post even reference February 15, as the target date for such an attack. After investigating, it turns out that post was from one year ago and showed up in the caller's Facebook Timeline as a "memory."
Still though, no arrest has been made in reference to that specific threat.
Update: The Summit County Sheriff's Office is reporting that that the Jackson Memorial Middle School student who brought a rifle into the school and shot himself has died.
According to the report, the 13-year-old student hid the gun underneath his clothing and brought it onto the school bus. When he arrived at the Jackson Memorial, he went into a bathroom and then shot himself. He was taken to Akron Children's Hospital where he died early Wednesday morning, just after 12:30 a.m.
The Medical Examiner has released the student's identity, but our 1590 WAKR Newsroom has decided not to mention his name.
Jackson Township Police Chief Mark Brink, during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, explained that the student get the rifle from his mother's house, but that they were still working on who it was registered to. Chief Brink added that the student was carrying a backpack that had bottle rockets, batteries, and "some ammo," but he did not specify how much.
Chief Brink mentioned that the investigation is ongoing and that it would take a significant amount of time, saying that they are looking for a motive and the student's full plan for that day on campus.
Update: All Jackson Local Schools will remain closed for the remainder of the day Tuesday.
Students are being sent home and all extracurricular activities for Tuesday have been canceled.
There is still no word on the condition of the student that was shot.
Jackson Local Schools are in lockdown protocol after a reported shooting on at Jackson Memorial Middle School.
Reports are that a 7th grade student, who brought a gun to the middle school campus, suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The student is being treated at an area hospital.
Jackson Schools Superintendent Christopher DiLoreto sent an automated message to students and parents in the district notifying them of the shooting at the school and the lockdown, and posted the following to the district website:
There has been no update on the status of the student who was shot.
Stick with 1590 WAKR for updates on this story.
U.S. Marshals have arrested Darnell Bitting, 31, of Akron, in connection to the shooting death of a young girl in the city last week.
According to reports, the shooting happened inside a home in the 900 block of Mercer Avenue, Friday night around 10:30. Police say it appears the shooting was the result of a domestic dispute at the home.
When police arrived, four children were inside a car with their grandmother. She told investigators that she and the children's mother arrived at the home to retrieve property from inside the house, but when no one answered the door, she says that the kids' mom broke out several windows. That's when a man came out of the house with a rifle and fired a shot that hit the car, and subsequently one of the children inside the car.
Janaya Swain, 4, was taken to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead.
On Saturday afternoon, U.S. Marshals arrested Bitting inside a home in the 749 block of Corley Street. He's been charged with murder and having weapons under disability.
The Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force is offering a reward for this week's Fugitive of the Week, 59-year-old Charles "Tony" Miller.
The U.S. Marshals Office out of Cleveland say that Miller, whose last known address was along Avon Lake Rd. in Litchfield, Ohio, is wanted for the shooting death of a man in the Steelyard Commons parking lot back on October 27th, of last year.
Miller is a listed at 6 feet, 6 inches tall, weighing about 250 pounds, and is possibly driving either a full size van or a blue Mercury Grand Marquis with an Ohio temp tag or a Georgia license plate.
If you have any information in reference to Charles Miller, please contact the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at 1-866-4WANTED or Text keyword WANTED and tip to 847411 (tip411). Tipsters can remain anonymous and reward money is available.
An Akron Firefighter has been charged with felonious assault after a domestic dispute inside a home in the 700 block of McKinley Avenue last week.
Police say 31 year old Enrique Green was visiting a female friend, when her ex-boyfriend showed up, and there was an argument.
When the ex threw a brick at Green; Green allegedly shot him in the shoulder. Green, who does not have a concealed carry permit, has been with the city of Akron's fire department for six years, and is currently on unpaid leave.
The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the convictions and death sentences for Richard Beasley, the Akron man who posted fake employment ads to Craigslist, luring four men to a rural property in southeastern Ohio, killing three and attempting to kill the fourth.
Scott Davis managed to escape Beasley after being shot; he'd eventually testify against him. Brogan Rafferty, who Beasley claimed was his nephew, was an accomplice to the crimes when he was just 16, was sentenced to life in prison.
This week, we're taking a look at an ambitious new retail and online initiative in Akron, that's a first-ever for the US, efforts to make Ohio ready for self-driving vehicles, and the second scary emergency mobile alert in the past month.
This week, we're taking a look at what is possibly THE most significant Cybersecurity issue--ever--and what's being done about it, some cutting edge medical technology out of the University of Akron, what social media providers are doing to protect users from horrible, graphic videos, and new guidelines for using drones to fight crime.
A Summit County Grand Jury has decided against charges for 69-year-old Anthony Demchak of Twinsburg in the death of his wife, Marilyn.
Back on October 25th, 2017, Anthony Demchak called 911 to report his wife unresponsive on the floor of their bedroom. He told emergency dispatch that he thought she'd fallen and that she was bleeding and not answering him.
When police and EMS arrived, they found Marilyn Demchak on the floor, unresponsive, with trauma to the back of her head. After a brief investigation, Anthony Demchak was arrested and charged with murder, felonious assault, involuntary manslaughter, and reckless homicide.
Police had been called to the Demchak home in Twinsburg before on domestic violence reports after neighbors had reported instances of Anthony Demchak threatening, even hitting or knocking down Marilyn. One report claimed that Demchak had threatened to punch his wife in the face if she left the garage to come back in the house. The most recent incident, before the October 25th call, was July of last year.
After months, the Summit County Medical Examiner's Office found that the cause of Marilyn Demchak's death could not be determined, and the grand jury dropped all charges against Anthony. He has since been released from custody.
From the Office of Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan:
Members of Mayor Dan Horrigan’s cabinet have a demonstrated commitment to giving back to the greater Akron community by volunteering their time and talent to diverse non-profit organizations. As just one example of this commitment, Randy Briggs, Deputy Mayor for Labor Relations for the City, was recently elected to his sixth term as the President of the Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board (“Summit DD”).
Originally appointed to the Board by late County Executive Russ Pry, Mr. Briggs has been working to advance the mission and vision of Summit DD since January 2009.
“I’ve had some of the most rewarding experiences of my career through this volunteer position,” Briggs said. “Working with my fellow board members and our leadership team to find ways to better serve our clients and ensure that each of our neighbors are treated with respect, dignity, and equality, regardless of ability, has become a true passion for me. This work has made me a better professional and a better person, and I’m grateful for this opportunity to give back, while gaining so much in return.”
The volunteer service of City staff complements the work they do for the City every day. “I’m proud to say that my cabinet, and so many other City employees, know the value of community service,” Mayor Horrigan said. “It is important to me that I am surrounded by leaders and advisors who ‘walk the talk’ and truly care about making Akron a better place – both in their official positions, and through their personal pursuits.”