Ohio National Guard

Eight members of the The Ohio National Guard Cyber defense team are helping the City of Akron deal with the financially motivated atttack on its computer network that started last Tuesday.

The National Guard Cyber team provides defensive operations, forensic support, and analyisis, and was authorized for duty in Akron by Governor Mike Dewine. 

In addition to the National Guard team, the City of Akron is also obtaining assistance from the FBI, and Ohio State Patrol.

So far, they have not reported that any data was lost, or that the personal information of Akron residents has been compromised. 

Related story: City of Akron Hit by Cyber Attack 

Friday, 25 January 2019 19:17

City of Akron Hit by Cyber Attack

Written by

Akron City Seal akroncity

The City of Akron is in the process of mitigating the damage from a malicious cyber intrusion they say was financially motivated.

They first noticed the unusual criminal virus activity on city computer systems on Tuesday, just as they were trying to dig the city out from this winter's worst snow storm so far.

City officials say they called in the F.B.I. Ntaional Guard, and Ohio State Patrol to help. They've also taken some computers offline, and are limiting the use of credit card payments for some city services.

More details from City of Akron press release below:

City of Akron Mitigating Attempted Malicious Cyber Activity 

Akron, Ohio, January 25, 2019—The City of Akron is investigating and mitigating criminal virus activity on City servers, which appears to be financially-motivated. On Tuesday, January 22nd, an attempt to access City funds was successfully identified, intercepted and prevented.  The City has taken swift and substantial protective action to limit the impact of this activity and protect City assets and information. The City does not have any intelligence at this time that suggests any personal information of our customers, taxpayers, or citizens was harvested. Current intelligence does not indicate any risk to public safety or any motivation to cause harm to the public.  Over the coming days, a joint city, state, and federal team will work to eradicate this malicious activity and maintain operational City services.


On the afternoon of Tuesday, January 22nd, the City of Akron Office of Information Technology became aware of suspicious activity on the City’s network.  The Akron Police Department was notified and immediate action was taken to investigate the problem and limit proliferation of any malicious software. This swift action required the City Office of Information Technology to temporarily shut down and protect critical software and hardware systems, including the City’s online 3-1-1 system. 

By the morning of Wednesday, January 23rd, the City had engaged the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Ohio State Highway Patrol to assist in the investigation and interdiction efforts.  Through that work, it was determined that this event merited additional resources, so the City contacted the Chief Information Security Officer for the State of the Ohio for activation of the 172nd Cyber Security Protection Team of the Ohio National Guard. This morning, at Mayor Horrigan’s request, Governor Mike DeWine authorized the deployment of this elite unit to assist in bringing a swift and thorough end to the malicious activity. 

Over the coming days, the joint city, state, and federal team will work together to eradicate and mitigate this activity and restore operational services. This process may require additional software and hardware system to be taken offline, which will likely impact certain city operations.  The City will communicate with the public in advance if we anticipate any major disruptions to city services or public access to online systems.

While mitigation efforts are evolving rapidly, current impacts include:

  • Certain software and hardware systems being unavailable within the Akron Municipal Court, which is requiring the temporary use of traditional recording devices and files;
  • Credit card payments being unavailable to the public in certain city departments, including Recreation, Building, and Tax.  Credit card payments continue to be available in the Utility Billing Office for payment of water/sewer utility bills. 
  • Certain internal City computers being relocated for forensic analysis.

In the coming weeks and months, investigators will conduct thorough forensic analysis to determine the full extent of the breach.  While current intelligence suggests that no personal information of City customers or tax-paying residents was harvested, investigation and mitigation efforts are ongoing, and any meaningful change in this intelligence will be promptly communicated to the public. 

“The Digital Age brings with it constant and ever-changing threats and we must remain vigilant and prepared,” Mayor Horrigan said.  “While this incident is ongoing, all current intelligence indicates that we were well-equipped and well-trained to address this malicious attack and that our employees took timely and appropriate action to prevent an attempted theft.  Public institutions across the nation often are of particular interest to criminal actors, which is why the city has invested more than $9 million since 2016 in citywide IT infrastructure and maintenance. We will continue to monitor our systems and make necessary investments to protect public assets and citizen information.” 

“I want to thank our Office of Information Technology staff, City/County CIO Mark Petit, APD, and members of my staff whose quick and decisive action helped us to limit the impact of this incident,” Mayor Horrigan continued.  “Additionally, I want to thank Governor DeWine, the F.B.I., the Ohio National Guard and Ohio State Highway Patrol for the care and expertise they have brought to the situation. Rest assured, we are doing all we can, deploying every resource and partnering with every agency with expertise to protect our critical city infrastructure from criminal activity.”


Friday, 25 January 2019 13:48

MOVIE REVIEWS - In Theaters Now

Written by

Let's see what's at the movies these days!

Friday, 25 January 2019 11:13

UPDATE: East Ave. Bridge Repair Delayed

Written by

The Ohio Department of Transportation announced Friday that the recently scheduled repair work on the East Avenue Bridge has been delayed due to weather as temperatures are expected to hit single digits, not factoring in windchill. 

Brent Kovacs with ODOT District 4 tells the WAKR Newsroom that all of the scheduled work needs to be started and completed at the same time, so even if there were a window to get a portion of the repairs underway, they couldn't. 

Below is the updated schedule and affected traffic patterns for the scheduled work:  


Friday, 25 January 2019 09:39

This Week in Tech with Jeanne Destro-1-25-19 Featured

Written by

This week, a new program to support software development in Akron, Microsoft trying make Seattle a more affordable place to live, big changes in automotive technology, and some exciting new medical tech that could save lives. We’ll also hear about a soundproof dog kennel, and a solar-powered classic rock song that goes on, and on, and on…..

***Please note: This show is now available as a podcast on Apple and Android devices. To find out how, follow these links: Appleor Android

Friday, 25 January 2019 09:12

Ray Horner Podcast - 1/25/2019

Written by
:17 - A middle schooler in Barberton brought two unloaded guns to class and was quickly apprehended. Tim Dimoff, president and CEO of SACS Security and Consulting, talked about the importance of “If You See Something, Say Something.”

6:35 - Outfielder AJ Pollock signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, which could mean two things: LA may be out on Bryce Harper, and Corey Kluber trade talks may heat up. So how cold is the Indians’ hot stove?

12:33 - Our movie guy Scott Wynn stopped by and, well, there’s not much happening at the theaters.

15:04 - A new study shows that eating fried chicken too often could be harmful to one’s health. In other breaking news, water is wet.

21:00 - Earlier this week, Tony interviewed Tom Conti from Boston Mills/Brandywine Ski Areas to talk about the ski slopes, skiing conditions, and snow tubing.

This week our 1590 WAKR Male Student Athlete of the Week is Cameron Fitzsimmons, a senior wrestler from Barberton High School. 

Cameron says he got into wrestling at a young age and grew to love the competition on the mat.
“I have been wrestling since I was 5 years old and the sport has taught me so much. Its taught me discipline, determination, leadership and it has made me a better person overall and I thank my teammates and coaches for that." 
He says that the grind of working with his coaches and teammates is something he enjoys.
“Barberton wrestling is one of a kind, every athlete is dedicated and willing to learn everyday, “ he said.
“We have the best coaches in the area that do everything in their power to make sure we meet our goals as a team."
As of this writing, Fitzsimmons has a 24-8 record in the 2018-19 season and 8 losses. He’s also the recipient of the Dave Cline Award as well. 
He is also a member of the National Technical Honors Society and College Credit Plus.
Upon graduation in the spring, Cameron plans on studying Business Management in college. 
Our next female student athlete of the week is Madison Goodrich, a junior bowler from Barberton High School.
She says she got into bowling in the second grade and stuck with it ever since then.
“It was just a second-grade league just to get out of the house, and I stuck with it."
She says she leads by example and vocally and as a left handed bowler, she has a unique perspective.
“It's a little bit of both, I can show the other left handed bowlers what to do and actually show them some things, plus I can talk to them as well," she said. 
In addition to being a bowler she’s also a member of the color guard and Teens Against Cancer over at Barberton 

Her coach Ed Sitko said that her leadership carries both in competition and in life.
“As a bowler, Madison is a talented young lady, she was given the gift of being left handed. This year she has positioned herself as a team captain with her bowling ability and team attitude, “ he explained.
“As a person, she truly cares about her friends and teammates. I am thankful to have her on the team, and glad she has one more year left. “
Theres also a unique family aspect as well.
“It has to be hard for her to have me as her coach and step-dad, she has the normal pressures of the sport and a little more.”
We wish Cameron and Madison the best in all of their future endeavors. 
Thursday, 24 January 2019 11:34

City Apologizes for Snow-Covered Streets

Written by

Winter Storm Harper dumped more than a foot of snow across most of Akron Saturday and into Sunday, leaving a lot of residents stuck over the weekend. 

It's understandable, especially when it comes all at once as the snow did over the weekend. 

Monday was the Martin Luther King holiday for Akron Public Schools and Tuesday was declared a "snow day" by Superintendent David James. By Wednesday, students were ready to head back to school, but the city wasn't. By the end of the day Wednesday, a report from APS spokesman Mark Williamson was that a total of 19 school buses wound up stuck in snow and needed assistance getting out. (Update: Thursday morning 8 more school buses were stuck, according to Williamson.) Williamson said not only is it up to the city to clear the streets, but it's also up to Akron residents to clear their sidewalks, to help the students who walk to school get their safely. Otherwise, Williamson tells us, there are students walking in the streets, which is obviously dangerous. 

Back to the roads, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan spoke with the Ray Horner Morning Show on 1590 WAKR, saying there is no excuse for the excess snow that remained through the holiday and into Wednesday, and that the city is doing everything to prevent a repeat. 

Read the full statement from the City of Akron below: 

First, an apology. We have failed to provide a timely level of service to all City streets in response to this storm, and we are sorry.

We apologize to the Akron community for the inconvenience and frustration our response has caused. The level of service we provided has fallen short of what our residents rightly expect. While we have devoted 100% of our available City resources 24/7 to plow and salt all primary, secondary and residential streets following Winter Storm Harper, the results of these efforts have been unacceptable. We appreciate the patience the Akron community has extended this week. We have heard your concerns and we will do better in the future.

Mayor Horrigan has directed the City to immediately reassess every policy, procedure, agreement and route and to make necessary changes to our approach to ensure that future snow events are addressed effectively and efficiently from day one.

What we are doing right now:

The City has deployed every single vehicle and piece of City equipment capable of removing snow and ice to work to clear City streets and plow every residential neighborhood as soon as possible. The City has deployed 7 private contractors to augment the City’s efforts and plow residential streets in tandem with our crews. They will use graders, backhoes, plow trucks and bobcats to increase our snow removal capabilities. We have established emergency mandatory overtime with the ultimate goal of opening every street in Akron before the next weather event. The County of Summit is also assisting with available truck and equipment. Public Service has called in all city workers from Sewer, Water and Public Works that are not in plow trucks to start the process of cleaning storm inlets. All together there are more than 100 vehicles currently activated within Akron to remove snow and ice from city streets.

The City will be enforcing the parking ban when necessary to clear streets. Some cars will be towed. Residents are reminded not to park on the street until the ban is lifted and all streets are clear. Due to rainfall and melting snow, there are areas of standing water. Drivers are reminded to drive slowly and cautiously in these areas.

The City has been experiencing intermittent failure of both the online 3-1-1 portal and our 3-1-1 phone line. However, every City street is on the list to be plowed, whether a 3-1-1 request is received or not. Streets are prioritized based on traffic patterns, and all streets will be plowed as soon as possible.

What is coming next:

Winter Strom Indra and freezing temperatures are on the way. Icy streets are expected in the coming days. Residents are urged to prepare accordingly. The parking ban on primary streets will likely remain in place until the accumulation from Winter Storm Indra has been cleared. The City’s all-hands-on-deck approach, including the use of private contractors will continue through the next storm event.

Thursday, 24 January 2019 10:14

Ray Horner Podcast - 1/24/2019

Written by
:17 - James Rollins is a best-selling author, and is out with a new book called The Crucible. Ray talked to James about his book, which deals with artificial intelligence and how human nature can respond to it. He also talked about his inspiration for writing his unique style of novels.

6:05 - ESPN dropped a damning piece about Jimmy Haslam’s tenue as owner of the Cleveland Browns. Ray and Tony broke down the piece, which covers Haslam’s first six years at the helm, and how it all turned around with John Dorsey and Baker Mayfield.

23:12 - Sharon Tate would have been 76 today, but it was 50 years ago that she was brutally murdered. Ray and Tony chatted about the Manson murders and the strange subplots that stemmed from it.

30:40 - Next week begins Catholic Schools Week. Ray had Diocese of Cleveland superintendent Dr. Frank O'Linn called into the show to preview the week ahead.

35:12 - Who was your favorite news anchor from yesteryear? Walter Cronkite? Peter Jennings? Dorothy Fuldheim? Ray asked the panel their favorites, and even opened up the phones for listeners.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019 09:36

Ray Horner Podcast - 1/23/2019

Written by
:17 - Since the weekend’s massive snowfall, the side streets (and even some main streets) in Akron appear to be untouched by snow plows. Mayor Dan Horrigan joined the show to explain what is happening, and has said he wants the streets to be cleared before the temperatures drop again.

6:08 - The University of Notre Dame, the Catholic college in South Bend, Indiana, has decided to cover up some Christopher Columbus murals due to protests from social activists. The morning show panel understands the sensitivity of this measure, but stress not to erase history, which isn’t always kind.

16:28 - The Baseball Hall of Fame announced its newest inductees to Cooperstown: Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay, Mike Mussina, and Edgar Martinez. Ray and Tony agree with Rivera and Halladay, but question Mussina and Martinez, who statistically never dominated their respective eras. What about Al Oliver? Tommy John? Jim Kaat?

24:56 - Have you tried online dating, either using a website or an app like Tinder or Bumble? Some single folks are finding out the online dating may not be all sunshine and roses, and the old fashioned way of meeting on the town or through friends can be more successful.

Page 214 of 251