Akron's historic Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens is open again for another season, with big events like their annual Father's Day Car Show, and AA Founder's Day Weekend, along with house and garden tours, Shakespeare plays, and more coming up now through the end of December.
Jeanne Destro talked about the grand old mansion's history, as well as what's new for this year, with Stan Hywet Communications Director, Donna Spiegler.
The former Brandywine Golf Course has been purchased by the National Park Service. The property is now part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Deb Yandala, President and CEO Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, joined Ray to talk about plans for the addition.
A spcial grand jury that will consider whether or not any criminal charges ought to be filed against Akron police in connection with the shooting of Jayland Walker last summer will begin considering evidence today in Summit County Common Pleas Court.
Walker is the black man Akron police say shot at them after fleeing a traffic stop, and then made threatening gestures after jumping out of his car in a parking lot. He was gunned down in a hail of police bullets, and only afterwards did police find his gun was not in his hand, but still inside his car, on the front seat.
Since then, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations, out of Columbus, has been looking into it, and the evidence that they have collected is what the grand jury here in Akron will start considering today.
In anticipation of possible protests; the City of Akron has launched a website, akronupdates.com, with information on topics including how a grand jury works, a specific zone where demonstrations will be permitted, road closures, and downtown safety updates.
Kent State University is celebrating the 40th Anniversary of their School of Fashion, and inducting internationally renowned fashion designer, Omar Salam, into their hall of fame.
In a release on the University's website, Salam, who is the founder and creative director of fashion house, Sukeina, is described as "global, sophisticated, and highly respected."
Salam spent most of his childhood traveling and living throughout Europe, and graduated from Parsons School of Design with a degree in fashion.
In 2001, he started working for Sonia Rykiel in Paris and became visual director for the New York City office, spending seven years there until joining Christian Lacroix for two years in 2010.
In 2012, Salam established his own fashion house called Sukeina after his late mother, meaning “bright light.”
The designer plans to exhibit a selection of the Spring/Summer 2023 collection, titled "Cardinal," this spring at the Kent State University Museum, home of extraordinary collections of historic dress, fashion, textiles and decorative arts. A full exhibition of work will follow in January 2024.
Omar Salam, Fashion Designer
Jeanne Destro talked about the designer's influence on fashion, and Fashion Week activities that will be taking place on campus April 26-29, with Interim School of Fashion Director, Dr. Mourad Krifa.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is pushing hard for schools throughout Ohio to return to teaching reading through the phonics method, as opposed to the "whole language" method, because data shows this is the path to better reading comprehension and results for young children.
Jeanne Destro talked about it with Akron Public Schools Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, Nicole Vitale, to find out how they do it at Akron Public Schools, and where they are in terms of making that the preferred method of teaching.
Do you have to get "set in your ways" as you age? Can you break bad habits and make positive changes?
Yes you can!
That's the word from Akron area Psychologist and Author, Dr. Toni Cooper.
Listen now as Jeanne Destro talks with her about how to create positive changes that will make you both feel better, and better about yourself.
Dr. Toni Cooper, Psychologist & Author
How far would you go to save your job? Would you lie under oath in a court deposition?
Former Fox News Producer, Abby Grossberg did, but then she thought better of it, recanted her story, and sued her employer for both allegedly coercing her to lie, and for sexual harassment. Then they fired her, and claimed she was both lying, and bad at her job.
On its own, that set of facts is pretty sensational, but when considered in context with the underlying case involved; the $1.6 billion dollar defamation suit filed by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox News for promoting the "big lie" on the air after the 2020 election that Donald Trump lost because the company's machines somehow actually changed votes for Trump into votes for Joe Biden.
Quite the story, and now the basis for the lawsuit claiming that Fox destroyed Dominion's reputation to the point that they not only lost contracts they already had, but also pending deals that would allow them to continue to operate their business successfully.
But Fox is claiming that they were just reporting the news as it came to them from the former president and surrogates speaking on his behalf. And besides–and here's the rub for Grossberg–they contend that her lack of fact checking led network luminaries Tucker Carlson, Maria Bartiromo, and Sean Hannity to repeat those lies on the air. Grossberg contends they're trying to scapegoat her, and though she admits she actually did lie about it originally; she only did so because she was being pressured by Fox lawyers.
The problem is; internal communications including text messages, tell a whole different story about what was really going on inside Fox News, and the judge hearing the case recently ruled it not only has to go to trial, but that it is “CRYSTAL clear that none of the statements relating to Dominion about the 2020 election are true".
The judge made this ruling based on pretrial court documents that reportedly show the network stars and even Fox network owner, Rupert Murdoch, actually knew that the alleged Dominion voting machine story was false, but repeated it anyway, because they were afraid they'd lose viewers, ratings, and money if they told the truth. Now, all of them are going to have to go to court to testify in the Dominion case.
Of course all that is going on far away from Ohio, but it does actually have a local connection.
In 2021, the Stark County Board of Commissioners decided not to buy 14 hundred new voting machines from Dominion, which had been recommended by the Stark County Board of Elections, and they did so, based on the false allegations about the machines. Stark County, of course, is far from the only local jurisdiction that has done the same thing; hence the big lawsuit against Fox.
But even leaving the whole Fox-Dominion dispute aside; there are lawsuits every day, where employees are called on to either back up, or refute allegations of misdeeds on the part of their employers. Then, those employees, like Abby Grossberg, have a choice to make; tell the truth and maybe lose their jobs, or tell a lie and possibly get blamed for something they didn't do, or even face charges of perjury.
Rock, meet hard place.
So, that's why I decided to talk about it with Akron Attorney, and University of Akron Law Professor Emeritus, J. Dean Carro. Listen now.
J. Dean Carro, Attorney
City of Akron Planning and Urban Development Director, Jason Segedy, has accepted a new position with the University of Akron, and will start there on May 3.
Segedy, who has been with the City since 2016, will be the new project manager for the reimagining of the Polsky Building, which will be known as Knight Creative.
According to a release from the University, officials say that in this new role, Segedy will coordinate all aspects of the Knight Creative project – including working closely with planning and facilities staff; reviewing project specifications and change orders; coordinating all elements of the project with the UA administration and community partners around programming of space and integration of the project with campus, the city and the county; providing space planning input into architectural programs for new construction projects; and acting as a bridge between the president’s office and those responsible for the execution of the capital project, among other duties.
Segedy, who earned his bachelor’s degree in geography from UA in 1994 and his master’s degree in geography/transportation planning from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 1997, brings an impressive urban planning and design background which will help him integrate the Polsky work with the downtown Akron landscape and civic commons.
Prior to his work with the City of Akron, Segedy spent 17 years with the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study, including seven years as the executive director, where he was responsible for managing the budget and staff; developing the regional transportation plan for the greater Akron area; overseeing expenditure of federal transportation funds in the region; and working with federal, state and local officials to foster regional cooperation.
Following up on our March 3 episode about clean water technology; today, we're talking about proposed new federal EPA regulations that would require testing for exceptionally dangerous chemicals that cannot be filtered out by the common methods used to make drinking water safe nationwide right now.
We'll find out exactly what those "forever chemicals" are, how they're detected, and what would be necessary to remove them from our drinking water supply.
Listen now, as I interview City of Akron Water Supply Bureau Manager, Jeff Bronowski.
A school shooting plan in West Geauga High School was foiled after a student discovered a bullet in a men’s restroom. 3News reports that the discovery of the 9 mm bullet led school officials to review surveillance video, and interview nearly 20 students.
Further investigation led school officials to the suspected student, 18-year-old Brandon Morrisette. It’s reported that Vice Principal Victor Puskas searched Morresette’s backpack and allegedly found a Smith and Wesson 9 mm handgun and three fully loaded magazines of ammunition. Officials say he also had a lock blade-style knife on his person.
Court documents obtained by 3News reveal that Morrisette allegedly had plans to shoot multiple students at West Geauga High School. Chester Township Police Chief Craig Young says that Morrisette “admitted to using prior calculation and design in developing a plan to cause harm to students at West Geauga High School on April 3.”
Morrisette now faces multiple charges including attempted aggravated murder, inducing panic, and illegal possession of a weapon in a school safety zone. However officials note that those charges are subject to change.
50 year old DNA evidence was the key to unlocking the mystery of who killed 18 year old Karen Bentz, and 20 year old Loretta Jean Davis, and now the 78 year old man who did it will spend the rest of his life in prison with no chance of parole.
But how, exactly, did police catch him after all these years? Listen to Jeanne Destro's interview with the head of the Summit County Prosecutor's Office Criminal Division, Brian Lo Prinzi. (below)
But first, the backstory.
Gustave Sapharas of Jackson Township, was found guilty by a jury in Summit County Common Pleas court last month of murdering the two young women, back in the 1970's.
Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge, Alison Breaux, sentenced him this week, ordering that a 15 year to life sentence for the First Degree murder of Karen Bentz, and a sentence of life in prison without parole for the aggravated murder of Loretta Jean Davis, should be served consecutively, noting “You are not to be released from prison at any time, Mr. Sapharas,”
Bentz, of Akron, was last seen alive at about 11pm on Tuesday, April 28th, 1970 in Akron. Her body was discovered on the morning of April 29th on the side of Indian Hills Drive in Tallmadge. She had been stabbed multiple times and was strangled.
20-year-old Loretta Jean Davis of Brimfield was last seen alive about 2am on Sunday, September 28, 1975 in Tallmadge. Her body was discovered later that day on the side of Congress Lake Road in Portage County. She had also been been stabbed.
Sapharas was arrested and indicted in the cold case murders back in 2019, but because of delays related to legal appeals and COVID; only faced trial last month for killing the women, decades ago.
So how did this long unsolved mystery finally end in justice for the two young women who met their fate at the hands of a brutal, knife-weilding murderer? How did he even find them? What did it take to crack the case?
Listen now, as Jeanne Destro interviews the head of Summit County Prosecutor's Office Criminal Division, Brian LoPrinzi.
Cleveland police have arrested a man who is accused of allegedly impersonating a Cleveland police officer and pulling over drivers to rob them.
Since March 7th, there have been at least five incidents of vehicles being pulled over by fake police. Channel 19 news reports that on Tuesday an officer spotted and followed a vehicle suspected to be involved in the incidents.
Around 10 am, Cleveland Police Sergeant Jennifer Ciaccia followed the suspected vehicle, a Dodge Durango, into the West side of Cleveland.
Near E. 71st Street and Worley Avenue, Sgt. Ciaccia says the suspect ran from his car into a stranger's home and locked the door. U.S. Marshalls arrived on the scene and took the suspect into custody without incident.
Police are still on the hunt for at least 3 more suspects thought to be involved in the robberies.
Dan Flowers, President & CEO of the Akron Canton Regional Food Bank, joined Jeanne Destro. Right now, they are doing their annual Harvest for Hunger fundraising campaign, and they talked about some of the new things they've got underway there now. Donate at local grocery stores, and also at akroncantonfoodbank.org.