Thursday, 09 March 2023 08:46

Sherrod Brown on Ohio Train Derailments

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Senator Sherrod Brown joined Ray. They talked about the train derailments in Ohio, his plan to improve rail safety, and more. 

Updated: 9:21 AM

Akron City Council named eight members to their new Citizens Police Oversight Board, but they still have one open seat they're hoping to fill with a black man between the ages of 18 and 35, which is the demographic that would have been covered had they agreed to appoint Akron attorney, Imokhai Okolo.

But, because he made some comments about police on social media that some council members found objectionable; they deadlocked on his appointment for two weeks. Once his name was taken off the list though; they reached an agreement during a special meeting yesterday, and now still need to fill that one seat.

To hear more about what's next; listen to our Morning Show Host Ray Horner's conversation about it, with Akron City Council President, Margo Sommerville.

Wednesday, 08 March 2023 10:46

Akron Libraries to Host Weddings this April

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Are you a book fan that’s ready to get married? The city of Akron is here to help! The Akron Municipal Court announced Tuesday that they are teaming up with the Akron-Summit County Library to perform weddings this April that will take place at several library branches throughout the area.

And what's the inspiration behind the library weddings? Well, several dates in April celebrate libraries, including April 6th which is National Library Workers Day. And National Library Week which will be celebrated April 23rd to the 29th. Judge Annalisa Williams and Judge Nicole Walker will be officiating the weddings and say they are avid readers and passionate about literacy.

Appointments for weddings will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis and must be booked ahead of time. Couples will also need to secure a marriage license prior to the ceremony. 

If you’re interested you can schedule your library nuptials by contacting the Akron Municipal Court’s Chief Service Bailiff Patricia Williams at (330) 375-2592.

Here’s a list of venues and details for the planned April wedding slots:

  • Goodyear Branch Library | 60 Goodyear Boulevard in Akron
    • Thursday, April 6, 2023 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
    • Weather permitting, the wedding ceremonies will take place outdoors in the Reading Garden. Ceremonies will be moved inside to the Community Room if rain or frigid temperatures are present.
    • Judge who will be officiating ceremonies: Judge Annalisa S. Williams
  • Richfield Branch Library | 3761 South Grant Street in Richfield
    • Monday, April 24, 2023 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
    • Weather permitting, the wedding ceremonies will take place outdoors in the Sculpture Garden. Ceremonies will be moved inside to the Community Room if rain or frigid temperatures are present.
    • Judge who will be officiating ceremonies: Judge Nicole Walker
  • Mogadore Branch Library | 144 South Cleveland Avenue in Mogadore
    • Wednesday, April 26, 2023 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
    • Weather permitting, the wedding ceremonies will take place outdoors in the Reading Garden. Ceremonies will be moved inside to the Community Room if rain or frigid temperatures are present.
    • Judge who will be officiating ceremonies: Judge Nicole Walker

There are lots of new developments related to last month's Norfolk-Southern Railway train derailment in East Palestine to report today, as well as other Norfolk-Southern related news that shines a light on what may have been going on inside that company in the months before the crash. 

Here are some of the highlights.

  • Police say the truck that drove out onto the tracks at a steelyard in Cleveland early yesterday morning, had stopped at a stop sign, before it hit a Norfolk-Southern train. Norfolk-Southern Conductor, Louis Shuster, who had been positioned outside the train, died as a result of the collision.
  • Bloomberg News reports that six months before the Norfolk-Southern derailment and toxic chemical release in East Palestine, a union representing Norfolk Southern employees here in Ohio, warned federal regulators that the railroad repeatedly disregarded its own safety rules for screening trains. In their complaint to the Federal Railroad Administration, the employees alleged the railroad had disregarded internal company rules requiring trains hauling hazardous materials be stopped and inspected in certain cases where track-side sensors, known as defect detectors, aren’t working properly. And, those same sensors are a focus in the investigation into the derailment in East Palestine.
  • The National Transportation Safety Board is now investigating Norfolk-Southern railroad, after a series of derailments and other accidents, including the one in East Palestine. In fact, the derailment in East Palestine was the fourth one in Ohio, in the past five months. The others occurred in Steubenville, Sandusky, and Springfield.

  • Norfolk-Southern C-E-O, Alan Shaw, says his company will fully cooperate with the investigation. This, just as Shaw is set to testify tomorrow before the US Senate in Washington, about potential threats to public health and the environment from the East Palestine derailment.

In their latest report on the derailment, the Ohio Emergency Management Agency reports the following:

  • At the site of the East Palestine crash, the excavation of contaminated soil at the derailment site continues removal continues. The Ohio EPA reports that contractors are making good progress, and soil has been removed down to the clay in about 50 percent of the area. They also say that 3.6 million gallons of liquid wastewater have been hauled out of East Palestine, so far.
  • Farmers in the area are concerned that their fields may have been contaminated, and although the Ohio Department of Agriculture currently has no reason to believe that crops planted in soil in the area of East Palestine are not safe for consumption; the agency will host a roundtable discussion with East Palestine area farmers tomorrow (Thursday, March 9) to discuss concerns about the upcoming planting season.
  • Efforts to protect the health of area residents continue, with The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarding $250,000 in emergency funding to the Community Action Agency of Columbiana County to help support emergency response efforts and follow-up care for people affected by the derailment. The funding will support key response activities, including direct health care services, patient screenings, outreach, and enrollment.
  • Because traumatic events, such as the train derailment, can cause intense stress, anxiety, and worry; local certified professionals are onsite at the East Palestine Mobile Health Clinic and are ready to assist anyone who has questions or concerns. In addition, they can call the Ohio CareLine at 1-800-720-9616 anytime for free, confidential, emotional support from a trained professional.

For more details on what is going on in East Palestine, click here, to read the latest report on the situation from the Ohio Emergency Management Agency.

Wednesday, 08 March 2023 06:58

Local Chef Alejandro Najar on Hell's Kitchen

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Chef Alejandro Najar, Barberton native, was a contestant on the 21st Season of Hell's Kitchen, finishing in 3rd place. Alejandro joined Ray to talk about the experience.

The Student Athlete of the Week segment is powered by NECA-IBEW and Akron Children’s Hospital. 

This week's athletes are from Manchester High School.

Jaydyn McKinney is a junior wrestler with a 3.678 GPA. She has a 15-0 record going into states (14 pins 1 technical fall). Jaydyn finished in 1st place in the Columbia Station Girls Tournament, the Carrollton Lady Warrior Tournament, and the Northeast Regional. She won the state title last year and is looking to get another one this weekend. Jaydyn was also a key contributor on the girl's soccer team, who made the Final Four this past season. 

Evan Kusmits is a sophomore wrestler with a 3.975 GPA. He has a 30-7 record and is going into the state tournament this weekend. Evan has finished in 1st place in the Waterloo D3 Classic, the PAC-7 league Tournament, and the North East Sectional Tournament. Evan excels in football, wrestling, and track. He has a twin brother, Trevor, and they are both coached in wrestling by their father, Andy Kusmits. 

The spate of car dealership thefts in Northeast Ohio continued over the weekend, this time at a BMW dealership in Middleburg heights.

3News reports that 3 luxury vehicles with a combined value of over $185,000 were stolen early Saturday morning from the dealership on Pearl Road.

This is at least the 7th car dealership theft since December 2022 but police have not yet said if the thefts are related.

Akron City Council President Margo Sommerville says she believes that despite being unable to reach an agreement for the past two weeks about who should be on the City's new Citizens Police Oversight Board; they'll be able to get it done on Wednesday at a special City Council meeting. 

That's because, she says, they're going to remove the key sticking point from the mix; Akron attorney, Imokhai Okolo, from the list of candidates. Okolo has been strongly supported by some City Council members, and opposed by others, causing a deadlock at the past two regular City Council meetings.

Listen now, to find out more, as she talks about it with our Morning Show Host, Ray Horner.

Tuesday, 07 March 2023 07:38

Impact Sleep Has On Heart Health

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Jennifer McNeil, Communications Director with the American Heart Association, joined Ray. They discussed the importance of getting the right amount of sleep. Jennifer says that not sleeping enough can heavily impact your heart and overall health.  

A 55-year-old Akron man was arrested in Springfield Township on Sunday, but he didn’t come easy. 

Springfield police tell the Akron Beacon Journal that the suspect, Vincent Mann, has a history of violating protection orders and that this was the 11th time in the past 12 months they’ve been called to deal with him. 

On Sunday authorities say a woman called them saying that Mann, who is her ex-boyfriend, came to her house on Salmon Drive, violating a protection order. He then proceeded to barricade himself inside her home. 

After Mann fired off one shot at the police, authorities brought in a SWAT team, used tear gas, and eventually made their way inside the home to arrest him.

Mann was taken to the hospital for a mental health evaluation and is facing several charges including inducing panic and improper discharge of a firearm.

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