Wednesday, 09 October 2019 12:06

City Announces "Aggressive" Snow and Ice Plan

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Last winter the City of Akron received a lot of blowback from citizens upset with the lack of response to a January storm that left several people stuck in the snow, some for days.

Mayor Dan Horrigan issued an apology to residents of Akron, saying they were re-evaluating their snow and ice removal process. 

Fast forward to Wednesday, and it appears the City has revamped the winter-weather response, as Mayor Horrigan announced the new "aggressive snow and ice removal plan" ahead of the 2019-2020 winter season.

"We will have more plows and equipment and those trucks will have better access to the salt," the Mayor told the Jasen Sokol Show on Wednesday, shortly after rolling out the plan to the public. "There is also a route revision; we've reworked it so that it's more responsive to neighborhood needs." 

One of the biggest changes to the winter strategy is that the City has ended their contract with ODOT that previously required the city to plow 150 miles of Akron highways. That responsibility now lies solely on ODOT, freeing up more resources to focus on city streets.

See more from the City of Akron below: 

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan was joined by City Council leadership and Public Works staff this morning as he unveiled his aggressive plan to overhaul the City’s approach to snow and ice removal for the upcoming winter season.  The new 5-point strategy includes significant improvements to equipment, technology, logistics, and training.

“Last winter we experienced a once-in-a-decade snow storm, which ended up revealing some unacceptable weaknesses in our system,” Director of Public Service John Moore said. “After that event, we immediately got to work critically evaluating every aspect of our strategy, with a commitment to being better prepared, across the board.”

“I am proud to say that today is a new day in terms of Akron’s snow and ice response,” Mayor Horrigan said. “For the 2019-2020 winter season, we will have more plow trucks, better access to salt, new routes, enhanced training, and better policies and technology to ensure we are maximizing our available resources and manpower. The singular goal is to get our streets cleared as soon as possible to reduce the dangers and hassle for residents and drivers.”  

One important change was the decision not to renew the ODOT maintenance agreement, which has been in place for over 50 years, in which the City maintained state interstates within its borders. By concluding that agreement, the City will have additional trucks, materials and manpower to dedicate to Akron streets.  The City will make up for the lost revenue from that agreement with a portion of the new, additional gas tax revenue from the State of Ohio, estimated at an additional $3.2 million annually. 

The full 5-point improvement strategy is summarized below. 

1.     More Plow Trucks and Equipment

·        Ended ODOT maintenance contract for highways, allowing 5 more 15-ton plow trucks to be available for plowing City streets

·        3 new replacement 5-ton trucks allowing additional backup equipment in major events

·        13 additional smaller 1-ton trucks outfitted with plows and/or salt spreaders which will be used for complaint-response in every City ward.

·        More aggressive maintenance schedules and opening additional City facilities (including the Copley Road facility) for maintenance work to reduce plows being out of service when they’re needed most

2.     Better Access to Salt

·        Market is recovering from extreme salt supply shortage last winter with more materials available nationwide

·        Already secured commitment on our full quantity of salt at approx. 25,000 tons

·        More salt available for City streets without ODOT maintenance agreement.

3.     Route Revisions

·        Recrafting of routes on City street allowing quicker completion, and minimize travel times between routes, materials and service locations.

·        Continuing work with logistics experts to maximize effectiveness and efficiency

·        Outside contractors will have access to pre-assigned areas for emergency assistance

4.     Enhanced Training

·        Providing additional in-truck training of new plow drivers by experienced operators

·        Working with simulator vendors and partners to provide enhanced classroom training

5.     Improved Policies & Technology

·        Working with City Council to adopt improvements to the Parking Ban procedure including earlier notification

·        Supervisors in the field will have better access to Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) system, 3-1-1 service requests, work order management in real time. 

·        Internal Constant Improvement Team established to review responses to events and make changes and improvements before the next event. 

“While we do still live in Northeast Ohio where Mother Nature ultimately wins—this is about delivering the services that residents expect and deserve—effectively and efficiently,” Mayor Horrigan remarked, “I want to thank City Council, our residents who shared their thoughts and input, and especially the hardworking City crews that work long, challenging shifts during major storms.  With these important enhancements, I’m confident we are appropriately prepared for the coming winter season.” 

“This is truly an aggressive new strategy, and I am pleased with the investment and dedication it demonstrates,” Council President Margo Sommerville said.  “I want to thank the citizens of the Snow and Ice Task Force for their assistance.  City Council looks forward to partnering with the administration to deploy these new policies and strategies to improve our ability to effectively clear city streets of snow and ice this winter.” 

Additional information about the new and improved strategy, along with a detailed “Snow and Ice FAQ” is available on the City’s website and also on the City Council website.  As always, residents with concerns or complaints should contact the Mayor’s Action Center by dialing 3-1-1 or (330) 375-2311 or submitting online at

Wednesday, 09 October 2019 09:12

Ray Horner Podcast - 10/9/2019

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:19 - Dan Horrigan has an opponent in the mayor’s race, and his name is Josh Sines. He joined Ray in studio to talk about his decision to run against Horrigan a week away from the debates.

6:26 - Who is an actor or actress that, no matter what film it is, you must see it because he/she stars in it? Maybe John Wayne or Meryl Streep? Tom Hanks or Emma Stone? The panel gave theirs.

13:19 - Nearing retirement? Have a plan for down the road? Robert Dodaro from Prism Wealth Management joined the show to talk about aligning your 401K.

18:17 - Continuing on the financial discussion, Richard Peterson from Capital Financial shared his thoughts on that topic.

Be sure to follow us on our various social media platforms. Facebook: 1590WAKRakron Instagram: @1590WAKR Twitter: @1590WAKR, @Rayinthemorning, @TonyMazur

Tuesday, 08 October 2019 09:50

Ray Horner Podcast - 10/8/2019

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:19 - The White House announced on Monday that the United States will pull out of military intervention in Syria, which has prompted strong opinions from pundits to other politicians. Mike Lyons is a military consultant for CBS News, and he joined the program to discuss the situation overall, and how the US has never been obligated to protect the Kurds.

6:36 - The Browns probably should be left off primetime TV, as they were blown out by the 49ers, 31-3, on Monday Night Football. Ray, Tony, and Kris broke down their thoughts on the game, from the poor offensive line and quarterback play, to being out-coached once again by their opponent.

13:10 - Back to politics, as a second whistleblower has come forward in this saga with President Trump and the Ukraine phone call. Malone University professor of political science, Dr. David Beer, shared his thoughts.

18:18 - It’s been fifty years since Abbey Road hit the charts, and Beatlemania lives on, in some way, to this day. Beatle fans also remember the campy Saturday morning cartoon from the mid-1960s, and the animator of this series, as well as Yellow Submarine and other non-Fab Four related creations, Ron Campbell, stopped by to talk about his career. His art is on display on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Akrona Galleries

Be sure to follow us on our various social media platforms. Facebook: 1590WAKRakron Instagram: @1590WAKR Twitter: @1590WAKR, @Rayinthemorning, @TonyMazur

Monday, 07 October 2019 11:46

"Dogtober" Event Offers Discounted Pet Adoptions

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The Summit County Division of Animal Control, along with County Executive Ilene Shapiro and Fiscal Officer Kristen M. Scalise, is hosting their special adoption event "Dogtober" from now until November 2nd. 

Dogs and puppies are all $25, which includes a Summit County dog license for the remainder of the year. Cats and kittens are $5, according to the Summit County Animal Control Facebook page

"We have 99 dog cages. All of them are full; every single one," explains Animal Control Director Christine Fatheree. "Cats are a little different; kittens can be housed together, so kittens and cats can be housed together. We have more than 100 cats." 

In addition to the County website and Facebook page, you can visit Pay It Forward For Pets for more information as well. 

Monday, 07 October 2019 08:52

Ray Horner Podcast - 10/7/2019

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:19 - The present and future of retail is a frequent topic on the program, especially with stores such as Forever 21 and Bed Bath & Beyond shuttering their doors. What will happen to the brick-and-mortar stores we’ve been so used to for half a century? And are outlet malls also going by the wayside?

12:06 - The Joker movie topped the box office, amid all the controversy over the backstory of a (fictional) murderer. No one in the studio saw it, but reviews are saying it was well done.

15:22 - Dr. Gary Riggs is our Monday morning veterinarian, and he touched on topics such as limping and arthritis with your pets, as well as flea and tick control.

Be sure to follow us on our various social media platforms. Facebook: 1590WAKRakron Instagram: @1590WAKR Twitter: @1590WAKR, @Rayinthemorning, @TonyMazur

Friday, 04 October 2019 10:32

This Week in Tech with Jeanne Destro-10-4-19 Featured

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This week, it’s all about the technology that allows us to connect with one another, from the nearly 1 million Ohioans who don’t have access to high speed internet, to the residents of Cleveland, who will soon be enjoying super-fast 5-G connections.

We’ll also be talking about how solar could be our major source of energy in the not too distant future, and bionic shorts that could make you a running superstar.

Please note: You can subscribe to this podcast through the Apple and Andoid app stores, as well as through Stitcher and Spotify.


This week our 1590 WAKR Male Student Athlete of the Week is Joey Klein, a junior soccer player from Revere HIgh School. 

He says that soccer has always been a part of his life from an early age.
“I’m pretty sure it was my parents that forced me to do it,” he said with a laugh. “I’m really happy they did and I’ve enjoyed it ever since.”
This year he was nominated as a team captain for the varsity team and was also chosen by his peers for the Athletic Leadership Council.
As a two sport athlete in soccer and track, Joey says being a Revere Student Athlete is something special.
“I just feel proud, “ he said. “The years before us set such a precedent of winning and to be a leader and a captain is a great feeling.” 
Away from the pitch, Joey is a member of Student Council as well as Class Council. 
He also spreads his love of the game of soccer to youngsters in the community by coaching and refereeing for the Revere 2nd Grade Academy.
His coach Nick DePompei says Klein exemplifies what a Revere Student Athlete should be. 
“Joey is a gifted leader on and off the field.  He understands how to work with his teammates and get the best out of them,” he said. 
“Joey has always been about his team first and does an amazing job making them better on the field. Whatever is asked of him on the field he is willing and capable to handle it.”

Our next Female Student Athlete of the Week is Alanna Ramsey a senior volleyball player from Revere High School.
Volleyball has been a part of her life from an early age, and she enjoys it each year.
“Honestly my whole family played volleyball and pushed me into it but I’ve had zero regrets going into volleyball,” she said. 
As a two sport athlete participating in both volleyball and track, she says that the community and her fellow students support the athletes across all sports 
Outside of sports, Ramsey is a part of Student Council and Yearbook.
Her coach Dana Cummins says she is an example for all of the younger players and a true team leader.
“She would run through a wall for me and her teammates. She works hard every day and is a true competitor. She brings the energy, that the other players feed off of,” she said. 
“Alanna is a great kid, always brings laughter each day and well liked by her teammates and It has been a pleasure coaching her the past 4 years. “
Upon graduation in the spring, Alanna plans on studying Criminal Justice.  
We wish Joey and Alanna the best in all of their future endeavors. 
Thursday, 03 October 2019 10:43

Ray Horner Podcast - 10/4/2019

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:19 - No matter what age you are, someone will always try to scam you. But with older folks, especially with social security, it’s best to keep an eye and ear to what the next scam could be. Robert Fenn from Social Security shared some tips.

10:47 - The new radio voice of the Cavaliers is Tim Alcorn, and he stopped by the studio to talk about new head coach John Beilein, the young squad the Cavs have, and his decades-long relationship with Joe Tait.

20:31 - The buzz at the box office this weekend will surround the Joker movie, starring Joaquin Phoenix. Our movie guy Scott Wynn touched on the publicity this film is getting, both positive and negative.

Be sure to follow us on our various social media platforms. Facebook: 1590WAKRakron Instagram: @1590WAKR Twitter: @1590WAKR, @Rayinthemorning, @TonyMazur

Thursday, 03 October 2019 08:45

Ray Horner Podcast - 10/3/2019

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:19 - Akron mayor Dan Horrigan is up for reelection in about a month, and he will be challenged by Josh Sines (who will be joining the program next Wednesday). He stopped by the studio to talk about anything from Summa, the opioid crisis in Summit County, snow plows, and the continued development around town.

12:47 - A frequent topic on this show has been about baseball attendance and what it will take to put butts back in the seats. Are the ticket prices still too high, or do younger folks just find baseball boring overall?

18:16 - And finally, master gardner Jeanne Poremski joined the program to answer questions on perennials, the chillier weather afoot, and when to bring the outside plants in for the winter.

Be sure to follow us on our various social media platforms. Facebook: 1590WAKRakron Instagram: @1590WAKR Twitter: @1590WAKR, @Rayinthemorning, @TonyMazur

Wednesday, 02 October 2019 12:10

Summa Announces New Facility at Akron Campus

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Summa Health announced Wednesday morning plans for a 60-bed, inpatient and outpatient behavioral health facility on its Akron campus.

The $60 Million investment is part of the Summa Health Master Facility Plan.

The state-of-the-art facility, that's planned to be open by 2022, will provide services for psychiatric patients, trauma patients, and addiction medicine, transitioning current services from Summa's St. Thomas Campus.

See the full press release from Summa Health below: 

AKRON, Ohio, Oct. 2, 2019 – Summa Health today announced plans for the construction of a 60-bed inpatient and outpatient behavioral health facility on its Akron Campus. The new building, part of Phase 2 of the Summa Health Master Facility Plan, represents an investment of approximately $60 million and will create an integrated, state-of-the-art space that allows for a partial hospitalization program and enhanced integration with intensive outpatient services, including psychiatry, addiction medicine and traumatic stress.

In addition to providing an integrated space for both inpatient and outpatient behavioral health services, the new facility will enable Summa to move the detox program to an acute medical setting, while also preserving and honoring the heritage of both Ignatia Hall and Alcoholics Anonymous. Groundbreaking on the new building is expected to take place in summer 2020, with completion scheduled for 2022.

“The beginning of Phase 2 of our facility plan not only represents an important next step in how we care for our community as a whole, but also underscores the importance we place on the treatment of those in need of behavioral health services,” said Dr. David Custodio, president of the Summa Health System – Akron and St. Thomas Campuses. “Coupled with the recent opening of our new patient tower and the many improvements we’ve made on the Barberton Campus and across the system, we are well positioned to care for our patients for many years to come.”

Other key components of Phase 2 of the facility plan include beginning the process of renovating units in the previous patient tower on the Akron Campus to achieve a higher private bed ratio, significant unit renovations to allow for the transition of all services currently provided at the St. Thomas Campus to the Akron Campus and demolition of the School of Nursing on the Akron Campus.

Additional details will be provided in the coming weeks and months, but it is anticipated that the transition of services from the St. Thomas Campus to the Akron Campus will take place over several months, with an anticipated completion date sometime in 2022. No decisions have been made about the future of the St. Thomas Campus; however, Summa Health will vacate the facility at the end of Phase 2 of the Master Facility Plan.

The Summa Health Master Facility Plan, announced in April 2016, represents an investment of approximately $360 million in the community. It includes:

Summa Health Page 2

• Opening a new 343,000 square-foot patient tower on the Akron Campus housing new facilities for Summa’s Women’s Health program, modern inpatient rooms and nursing units and expanded surgical capacity.

• Increasing the number of private rooms to approximately 80 percent of beds on the Akron Campus.

• Providing increased outpatient capacity across the system, with the ability to design around patientcentered care.

• Modernizing various portions of the Summa Health System – Barberton Campus and aligning services there to improve access to efficient ambulatory care to better meet the overall needs of the community. These improvements include a new imaging and diagnostic center and enhancements to surgical services.




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