With a plot ripped straight from recent national headlines, playwright Eric Mansfield explores the red hot political topic of book banning in schools.

What if efforts to keep students from reading certain books, goes too far? What if students rise up to defend a brave teacher who has been allowing her students to read material on the state’s new official “banned books” list?

Find out when “Trial By Fire” opens Thursday, January 18, 2024, at Firestone High School in Akron.

Additional performances will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 19, and at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 20, and at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 21. Tickets are on sale now at Akron.Booktix.com. All seats are general admission, and cost $10.00. 

pre-show discussion will be held at 6:15 p.m. on Thursday, January 18, 2024, in the school’s Learning Resource Center. This informal chat is free and open to the public and will feature cast members as well as members of the production team. Patrons may attend the discussion even if they are attending the show on a different night.

Playwright Eric Mansfield is an Emmy Award-Winning TV Journalist, retired U.S. Army Officer, current PR professional, and Dramatist Guild member based in Akron, Ohio. He is continuing his passion for storytelling through playwriting and other creative outlets. 

Eric considers himself a modern dramatist and saw the growing debate over banning books in America as a topic worth exploring on the stage. 

"Trial by Fire" was first drafted during Eric’s graduate work with the NEOMFA program at Kent State University and further developed during a summer workshop with the Millennial Theatre Project in Akron. Firestone Theatre is producing the world premiere of this play.

Playwright, Eric Mansfield 


The Archbishop Hoban Knights are going for another football state title! They'll play the Massillon Tigers at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium Thursday night. Coach Tim Tyrell of the Hoban Knights joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk about the matchup.


Akron Police Chief Steve Mylett has released the results of an internal investigation into the Jayland Walker shooting, which exonerates the officers of any wrongdoing in the incident which made national headlines, and resulted in months of civil unrest in Akron; some of it violent.

Walker, who was black, was shot on June 2, 2022, following a high speed chase along the highway, during which he shot at police.

At the time; Police claimed that they were acting in self defense, because he made a gesture they interpreted as threatening. It wasn't until after he was dead, that they discovered his gun was still in his car, and that when he turned toward police and made the cross-body gesture they thought meant he was going to shoot at them; he was actually unarmed.

Since that time, the the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation looked into the incident, and their findings were presented to a Grand Jury in Summit County, which last April declined to return criminal indictments against any of the eight officers involved.

In addition, attorneys for the Walker family have filed a $25 million dollar civil lawsuit against the City of Akron, and they have asked the US Departent of Justice to look into their claims of police excessive use of force and civil rights violations.

Mylett concludes: "While certainly tragic, after having reviewed the BCI investigation and Lt. Lieke’s investigation, and the City’s policy, similar to the Special Grand Jury, I find that that the use of deadly force was objectively reasonable and the officers complied with the use of force policy. As I already stated, this was a very dynamic, dangerous and fluid event and all officers were focused on safely apprehending the fleeing suspect and when presented with a reasonably perceived life-threatening danger, acted to protect themselves and their fellow officers."

You can read the entire Executive Summary, below:

Executive Summary 11 28 23 Page 1

Executive Summary 11 28 23 Page 2

Executive Summary 11 28 23 Page 3

Tuesday, 28 November 2023 07:54

OHSAA Football State Championships

Written by

Tim Stried, Director of Media Relations with OHSAA, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show. The Football State Championships kick off Thursday at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton. Tim talked about the teams, matchups, and keeping the playoffs in Canton.


Akron Police are trying to find out who left three 15 year old boys injured on Saturday afternoon, after a drive-by shooting near the intersection of South Arlington Street and Delos.

They say they found one teen who had been shot in the leg, inside a nearby Dollar General Store, where he had gone after getting shot while walking down the street with two other boys. Police found a second victim, also shot in a "lower extremity", at a house in the 1100 block of Santee Avenue.

Both teens were taken to the hospital, and then later, the third shooting victim who got there on his own, also showed up at the hospital. None of their injuries were life-threatening.

Now, police are looking for suspects.

If you can help; contact the Akron Police Department Detective Bureau at 330-375-2490 or 330-375-2Tip.

You can also provide anonymous information to any of the following:

  • Call The Summit County Crimestoppers, at 330-434-COPS
  • Text TIPSCO with your tips to 274637.
  • In addition, you can download the Akron PD app, and submit information by texting Tips411 or accessing the link at www.AkronCops.org.
Monday, 27 November 2023 08:16

Santa Claus Express Toy Drive is This Weekend!

Written by

Jerry Hissem, Chief Pilot Goodyear Airship, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show. Goodyear is partnering with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve for the annual Santa Claus Express Toy Drive. The event is this weekend, Dec. 1-3, from 2-7 p.m. at the Wingfoot Lake blimp hangar. Jerry discussed the event, talked about the airship, and more! 



See Santa & The Goodyear Blimp Up Close
841 Wingfoot Lake Rd.
Mogadore, OH 44260

More information at
or call 330-796-8151


Wednesday, 22 November 2023 07:45

National Adoption Month

Written by

Cassandra Holtzmann, Executive Director of  Summit County Children Services,  and Tracy Mayfield, Department Director, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show. November is National Adoption Month. They discussed adopting, fostering, and more. For more information about adopting or fostering, go to https://www.summitkids.org/

Tuesday, 21 November 2023 07:35

AAA's Tips for Holiday Travel

Written by

People are hitting the roads and holiday travel numbers are expected to hit pre-pandemic numbers. Regional President of AAA, Kevin Thomas, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show. He said that Wednesday is going to be the busiest travel day ahead of Thanksgiving. Kevin provided some tips about when to head out, vehicle prep, safety, and more. 


Becky Oakes from the US Patent and Trademark Office joined the Ray Horner Morning Show. Nov. 20th. 1923, Cleveland inventor, Garrett Morgan, received a patent for the traffic signal. Becky talked about the original traffic signal, how it developed into the traffic light, the tie to Cleveland, and more.


Just days away from our annual Thanksgiving food extravaganza; "This Week in Tech with Jeanne Destro” is focusing on new technology America’s farmers are using to ensure we have plenty of food on the table.

From cameras, drones, and autonomous tractors, to Artificial Intelligence and solar panels; farm operations are becoming increasingly more efficient and productive.

As you’ll hear from our featured guest today, Professor Scott Shearerer, who is Chair of the Department of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering at The Ohio State University; all this is happening while farmers adapt to global climate change-related challenges like drought out West, and heavier than usual rainfall here in Ohio.

Listen now.


shearer headshot

Dr. Scott Shearer, The Ohio State University

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