First Responders, including volunteer firefighters, police, and other emergency personnel, can now sign up for training on how to deal with rail disasters.

This is in direct response to last month's Norfolk Southern train derailment that resulted in a catastrophic spill of toxic chemicals into the ground, air, and water; a spill that is having a profound effect on area residents who have been complaining about both physical and mental health issues, who are worried about the potential loss of their livelihoods, and many who are also concerned about what might happen in the future to their crops and livestock.

The Division of the State Fire Marshal announced that first responders in Ohio can now register to attend rail response training sessions that focus on preparing for and responding to rail incidents involving hazardous materials.

Training will begin March 21 at the new Norfolk Southern Rail Response Training Center in Bellevue, Ohio. Governor DeWine and Norfolk Southern announced the creation of the training center last week. 

According to a release from the Governor's office, First Responders will receive instruction covering a variety of topics related to safety and tactical response for rail emergencies during the eight-hour training sessions. These topics include: 

  • Safety Around the Railroad
  • Understanding Rail Shipping Documents
  • Tank Car Identification & Assessment
  • Tank Car Valves & Fittings
  • Locomotive Emergencies
  • Responding to Railroad Emergencies
  • AskRail Mobile App
  • Response Strategies & Tactics

The free hands-on classes will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 13401 OH-4, Bellevue, Ohio., and lunch will be provided. 

In other East Palestine-related news, experts from the Ohio Department of Agricuture, and The Ohio State University, are continuing to look into ways to test for toxic chemical contamination ofplant materials and milk and egg products produced in the East Palestine area. One issue they're exploring, is what food-related testing exists, if any, for the chemical compounds related to the train derailment, what laboratories offer testing, and what thresholds are acceptable for safely produced products.

In the meantime, the Ohio Department of Agriculture continues to assure Ohioans that its food supply is safe and the risk to livestock remains low following the East Palestine train derailment. If a testing method can be identified, they say, the testing would occur "out of an abundance of caution."

The lack of tests and filtration available for those particular types of chemicals is actually a known issue, and one that I discussed recently with Jeff Bronowski, who is the Manager of the City of Akron's Water Supply Bureau, and with Christopher Miller, who is the CEO of a company that provides advanced water analyisis software for water supply bureaus in a number of communities, including Akron, Fontus Blue.

That point is part of a wide-ranging conversation about how water is tested and treated, what chemicals can be detected, and how there are certain "forever chemicals" of concern that are hard to remove. In fact, the US EPA just released proposed new rules dealing with those types of chemicals this week. 

CBS News just did a report on these new standards yesterday.

Meanwhile, as you listen to my report below, you'll note that in Ohio; it is not just East Palestine where toxic chemicals that could impact drinking water are a big issue. For example, the city of Dayton is suing the federal government right now to recover damages for toxic chemicals that have been leaching into their groundwater for years, from Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

Listen here, to my recent program on water treatment and safety issues in the Akron area, on This Week in Tech with Jeanne Destro.


For more information on developments in East Palestine, click here, for the latest update from the Ohio Emergency Management Agency.


Thursday, 16 March 2023 08:30

Barberton Update with Mayor Bill Judge

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Barberton Mayor Bill Judge joined Ray. They discussed the development of the Babcock & Wilcox campus, housing, Barberton Chicken, and more. 

Thursday, 16 March 2023 08:15

Upper Deck Golf Coming to FirstEnergy Stadium

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Something to look forward to this summer as FirstEnergy Stadium has announced that it will host Upper Deck Golf this June.

Upper Deck Golf allows fans the opportunity to play golf inside sports stadiums across the county, hitting balls from the upper deck onto custom greens set-up on the field below. All while enjoying food, beverages, and music.

Upper Deck will be at FirstEnergy June 23rd and 24th and you can sign up to join the VIP Waitlist now. Tee times will become available on May 23rd.

For information and to secure your spot on the waitlist visit

Thursday, 16 March 2023 08:11

Triple Murder Suspect Held Without Bond

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The 58 year old Copley man who has been charged in connection with the murders of three men and the attempted murder of another, is being held in the Summit County jail without bond.

That ruling in the case of Elias Gudino, Beacon Journal reports, came from JudgeTodd McKenney, in Barberton Municipal Court, yesterday.

Gudino, who previously spent more than 12 years in prison for running a multi-state drug operation out of the Akron area, is facing felony charges related to the recent discovery of four men found bound, gagged, and shot in the head --two in Akron, and two in Copley.

ODOT has announced plans to invest a record 2.5 billion dollars in over 1,000 projects during the 2023 construction season. Much of the funds supporting these projects comes from money allocated to Ohio as a part of the federal Infrastructure and Jobs Act.

News 5 reports that this year’s construction will include 31 new projects that are considered “major” with a value above $10 million.

Some projects planned for Summit County include the reconstruction of Akron’s Beltway, a $161 million dollar project set to begin in June. And replacing the Route 8 Bridge over the Cuyahoga River Valley. That project is set to begin in July.

And while many new projects are slated, maintaining roadways is also a priority with about 95 cents of every dollar going toward preserving existing roads and bridges.

Wednesday, 15 March 2023 09:47

Bally Sports Parent Company Files for Bankruptcy

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Diamond Sports Groups, the parent company of Bally Sports, and the largest owner of regional sports networks is filing for bankruptcy. 

Bally Sports owns the broadcast rights to 42 professional sports teams, including the Cleveland Guardians. Fox 8 News reports that as a part of its bankruptcy proceedings Bally Sports is set to reject the contracts of 4 teams including the Guardians, the Cincinnati Reds, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Diego Padres.

The MLB has announced that if that happens they will air games locally on the MLB Network and make them available to stream on MLB.TV

Drooling. Lethargy. Upper respiratory issues. Anorexia.

Those are some of the symptoms suffered by a dog, and some stray cats that died near the toxic train derailment site recently in East Palestine.

But, was it because of the chemicals? That's what investigators from the Ohio Department of Agriculture are trying to find out now.

So far, testing for chemical toxicity on other dead animals there has come up negative.

Water testing in private wells in that area continues as well, with the Ohio Department of Health reporting no harmful levels of contaminants on the 179 private systems they've sampled so far.

In addition, independent contractors are continuing high-pressure washing in underground culverts off of Sulphur Run, an effort to remove contaminated sediment that is causing the air to smell bad in some area homes and businesses.

With regard to hazardous waste removal, the Ohio EPA reports approximately 6.3 million gallons of liquid wastewater have been hauled out of East Palestine in total, and that there is currently a pile of approximately 27,700 tons of excavated soil waiting for removal, versus 3,200 tons that have been removed.

For a more information, click here to read the latest update from the Ohio Emergency Management Agency.

The State of Ohio is suing Norfolk Southern Railway in federal court, alleging the company was negligent, and that it broke both state and federal environmental laws when its train derailed and spilled toxic chemicals into the air and water last month in East Palestine.

The 58-count civil lawsuit cites the company's accident rate, which has risen 80 percent in the past ten years, and seeks to hold them financially responsible for "recklessly endangering" both the health of area residents, and Ohio's natural resources.

The suit, which was filed by Ohio Attorney General, Dave Yost, claims the derailment was entirely avoidable and the direct result of Norfolk Southern’s practice of "putting its own profits above the health, safety and welfare of the communities in which Norfolk Southern operates."

In addition, the suit claims that toxic chemicals released from at least 39 rail cars have made their way into Sulfur Run, Leslie Run, Bull Creek, North Fork Little Beaver Creek, Little Beaver Creek, the Ohio River and/or some still-unknown Ohio waterways.

It also says the derailment “has caused substantial damage to the regional economy of the state of Ohio, its citizens and its businesses", and notes that citizens of the region have been displaced, their lives interrupted, and their businesses shuttered.

As a result, the suit claims that the State of Ohio is entitled to recover the lost taxes and other economic losses it has suffered, and seeks injunctive relief, civil penalties, costs, damages, and court costs.

Wednesday, 15 March 2023 07:40

America (band) Coming to Canton

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Dewey Bunnell, member of the band, America, joined Ray. America will be at the Canton Palace Theater on March 16th. Dewey talked to Ray about the show, his career, and more. 

Wednesday, 15 March 2023 07:35

Hoban Knights in State Finals

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Archbishop Hoban Boys Basketball Team are in the State Finals this weekend. Coach TK Griffith joined Ray to talk about the team, upcoming game, and more.

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