Saturday, October 30, 2010

Here's USAToday post on Obama "others" comment.
In the real world department: congrats to Stacey & John Boccieri on birth of Emma Nancy just after Bill Clinton rally. realworldexists
Yeah, this'll get me in trouble...but "the other side"?? Didn't the "others" boost AIDS funding? So much for toning down rhetoric.

Friday, October 29, 2010

VIDEO Is the Akron Civic Theatre Haunted?
VIDEO UPDATE: Highland Square Robbery, Is The Civic Theatre Haunted? Plus Your Trick-Or-Treat Forecast
VIDEO UPDATE: Highland Square Robbery, Is The Civic Theatre Haunted? Plus The Chilly Trick-Or-Treat Weekend Forecast!
VIDEO Is the Akron Civic Theatre Haunted? Is The Akron Civic Theatre Haunted?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

VIDEO UPDATE: The I-76 Shooting, Conversations: 2010 Election Candidates & Halloween Weekend Fun!
Part 2 of the joint WAKR-ABJ interviews with County Council candidates. It's Ladies Day.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The latest in the series of "run to Columbus" political complaints...
Numbers from TNT: Heat-Celtics game most-viewed cable NBA game EVER. 7.4+ million viewers. LeBron
An interesting note on Tozzi's in Canton: scores high among diners for dinner but not open for lunch. Until a former president stops by?
Where's Bill? Former prez Clinton moved out of Massillon again for Saturday, now at Tozzi's on 12th in Canton at noon.
VIDEO UPDATE: Storm Damage In Ohio, A Cuyahoga Falls Ghost Story & More Ghoulish Surprises
Worth a read: metadata is part of public records, too. @RTDNA

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

No more high wind warnings for the area. You are now safe to move about the county.
Absolutely love this work from KSU student media -- The Ohio Miracle: $ilent Politicians
Tornado Watch Update: moving east but still covers Summit, Stark and Portage. Line from Youngstown-Erie PA now.
Favorite storm news release so far today: Congressman Space newser on solar power canceled due to weather.
Bill Clinton will skip McKinley-Massillon game? Security a big issue. Akron Beacon Journal:
VIDEO UPDATE: Windy Weather Swirls Into Akron, LeBron Charity Donates 1,000 Computers To APS & His New Commercial
A Tornado Watch is in effect through 4 p.m. for several counties including Medina, Wayne and Cuyahoga.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Not likely happy campers on South High Street over denied request to probe labor report.
VIDEO UPDATE: Street Signs To Cost Akron $1 Million & The Not-So-Scary Side of Spiders!

Friday, October 22, 2010

VIDEO UPDATE: Ohio's Jobless Rate Drops, Campaign Signs Do's & Don't's & LeBron's Latest Tweet Aimed At Fans

Thursday, October 21, 2010

VIDEO UPDATE Father Sam Sentenced, Akron Woman Dies From Accident Injuries, Plus More News & Akron's Weather Forecast:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

VIDEO UPDATE: North Hill Car Accident & More Murders In Akron This Year
Authorities are asking drivers to avoid Cuyahoga Falls Avenue at North Main due to a head-on crash. Multiple injuries reported.
A section of Kenmore Blvd. is closed between Wilbeth and East due to a water main break.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

UPDATE audio with witness on the scene as firefighters in Strasburg continue to clean up massive apparent arson.
State FOP boss fires back at Plusquellic over SERB fact-finder charge. @AkronNewsNow
VIDEO UPDATE: Suspicious Fires In Stark County, Plus More Local News & Weather!
If you witnessed the fires in Strasburg this morning and have a photo, please send it our way to with your name!
Rte 250 is closed in each direction in southern Stark County as crews are battling fires. It is blocked from I-77 through Strasburg.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Working Together On That Democracy Thing

When is it appropriate for hard-fought competitors to team up? How about when the right thing matters -- like helping voters gain a better understanding of just who will make decisions in their name.

The germ of this came in a conversation with Bruce Winges, editor of the Akron Beacon Journal. We've discussed areas where it made sense for both of our media organizations to collaborate rather than simply compete.

Contrary to perception, there are plenty of such opportunities.

I am reminded of a Town Hall forum organized by the League of Women Voters of the Akron Area where Mike Douglas, the Beacon Journal's editorial page editor, acted as the moderator for a live stream on our website. It was informative, interesting community service and using our facilities together to spur thought and discussion is a mission shared by both WAKR and the Beacon Journal.

Our discussions with the candidates -- not quite the normal give-and-take one might find in an editorial board meeting with newspaper editors and reporters ahead of endorsement, but more than the Q&A sessions one would normally hear on WAKR's Ray Horner Morning Show.

LINK to AkronNewsNow video interviews with candidates Frank Comunale and Frank LaRose for the 27th District State Senate

Having interviewers from other media isn't unusual; Steve Hoffman proved that point a week ago as one of those participating in the U.S. Senate debate held in Cleveland between Lee Fisher and Rob Portman. What is unusual in this case is the ability to make these interviews available not only on the air or in print but also on both and as well as on Time Warner Cable.

Bill Jasso, who's journalism and community service chops date back to the glory days of WHLO and now works as vice-president for communications for Time Warner Cable locally, thought it was a good idea too.

Thanks to Bruce, Doug Oplinger, Mike Douglas, Steve Hoffman and Rick Armon for their work on this project.

We all still compete -- including for ad dollars -- but it makes sense for competitors to come together in public service. We're proud to be part of this outreach and endeavor and will look for other opportunities to work with our rivals to help make Akron and Summit County a better place to live.

Even when we still want to get the story first. Just as they do.
Something different: WAKR, Akron Beacon Journal team up on political interviews. Video here:
VIDEO UPDATE: Attorney Assigned In Real Estate Agent Murder Case & The Search For A Missing Teen

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

VIDEO UPDATE: The Akron Public School Board announces it will endorse Issue 17 & it's WAKR Week in Akron!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Akron Public Schools endorses Issue 17, declines to get involved in city politics...
VIDEO UPDATE: Deer-Vehicle Accidents Peak This Time Of Year, Costly Trial For Taxpayers & Your Local Forecast!

Friday, October 8, 2010

This will probably turn out to be the opening shot of a media battle, but what the hell.

When Radio Hosts Sound Stupid

It's been an interesting week and a half for Akron City Hall observers, especially those who apparently don't recognize the truth versus rumor even when it's right in front of their own faces. That includes folks who post what they heard versus what they know, and the people who talk about it.

I hesitated to even write this post. On one hand, it can legitimize a rumor without merit. On the other hand, maybe it can help put a lid on at least one story that deserves to be put to rest. It's one thing to go after public officials on the issues, quite another to continue to perpetuate rumors that have no basis in fact.

We haven't -- nor have other Akron-based news organizations with honest-to-God reporters -- even reported this. In fact, we've removed comments on our pages suggested the story since it is unattributed and as far as we can tell just plain false. But local talkers on WNIR, in particular the night-time host, have made reference to what you'll read below.

This is the case of the continuing rumor of a fist-fight involving one high-profile public official and reportedly a retired police officer.

As the unsubstantiated story goes, a disagreement on the evening of Thursday, September 21, 2010 outside a downtown steakhouse led to a trip to the parking lot where one side supposedly starting whalin' on the other. The unsubstantiated story (seeing a trend here?) then speculated that's why the public official didn't make any public appearances -- because he was nursing his injuries.

Nice, lurid tale and the kind of story scandal-lovers scoop up with a spoon. It's peppered the comments sections on the Akron Beacon Journal and our comment sections on AkronNewsNow. It made Howie Chizek's midday show, where he pretty much debunked it. Later Thursday night, late night host Tom Erickson acted as though he was "in the know" but refused to tell all that he knew.

Here's the problem with the unsubstantiated story: on the date is supposedly happened, the public official wasn't even in town. He was in Washington, D.C. attending a conference. In fact, here's a photo taken during a reception that period:

No shiner. No scrapes, no cuts, no abrasions. Looks like all the teeth are in place. In matter of fact, he looks pretty healthy and even happy. The photo was taken in a meeting room; I've cropped out the photo of another individual also in the shot, since they are not material to this story or the point I'm about to make.

At the time Don Plusquellic was supposedly involved in a fistfight he was 355.23 driving miles from downtown Akron to downtown Washington, D.C.

Even with a lead foot pounding the pedal, that's still a good six hours plus drive from one place to the other.

If he had booked a commercial flight from Reagan National Airport (DCA) into Akron-Canton Airport, it would have him in the air for one hour and ten minutes -- assuming he flew non-stop on U.S. Air.

Do your own search on here on CAK's site!

If he flew another airline he would have a one-stop through either Philadelphia (two hours and 52 minutes) or Orlando (eight hours and seven minutes) or Raleigh-Durham (five hours, 35 minutes) and that isn't taking into account going through the security and pre-board hour-plus at Washington and the drive from CAK to the steakhouse.

The reason the smiling face (seen above) didn't attend the Akron Roadrunner Marathon Mayor's Reception on that Thursday? Don Plusquellic was attending a U.S. Conference of Mayors event in Washington, D.C. He was listed in the USCM news release, which included details of more than 40 others mayors chatting up issues with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Don't believe it yet?

That would be LaHood in the middle, the Mayor of Los Angeles to the left, and peering out over his reading glasses?

Both photos come, at my request, from the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Bottom line: this entire rumor is just dumb. There's no police report of two old guys duking it out in the parking lot; even if the sluggers decided to keep it personal, the day it supposedly happened is a day one of the boxers was more than 350 miles away. Under direct questioning, the office of the one person clearly identified in the rumor say it absolutely didn't happen. The photo above speaks for itself; so did our reporters who spotted the Mayor at City Council and even earlier this week the Firefighters Memorial Service.

I've certainly had my own run-ins with the Mayor; that doesn't surprise anyone who knows either of us. My observations and line of questions have generally kept on track of particular issues, and most of his criticisms of me have been disagreement over my interpretation.

Sometimes those disagreements become heated. At no point did he ask me out to the parking lot. On one occasion, when he had reason to be particularly vexed with me, I actually offered him a ride from an event back to City Hall. He accepted and was gracious, or about as gracious as I figure he'd be with me behind the wheel. We've exchanged a harsh word or two but that really isn't unusual between two adults with strong opinion and personality. Frankly, I find the entire story of a fistfight hard to believe.

The "it happened" crowd is now pitching their version saying the dust-up didn't happen September 21 as first thought, it happened the following Monday. Except our reporters clearly remember seeing the Mayor, with no ill-effects. It's why I've advised those trying to sell me on the scoop to have the real Rocky-in-question give me a call to confirm.

Still waiting for that phone call.

The "in the know" radio talkers, the folks who post comments, the whisper campaigners who insinuate they know more should own up to what they know, whether it's credible, and put it to rest. If there was a rumble, let those come forth and talk about it. In the open.

Otherwise, can we get back to talking about the stuff that really matters?
VIDEO UPDATE: See Senator Sherrod Brown Anchor Sports On 1590 WAKR, The Search For A Big Diamond & More!
VIDEO UPDATE: U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown's Sportscast on 1590 WAKR! Plus serching for a diamond thief & much more!
VIDEO UPDATE: Searching For A Diamond Theif, FOP Vote Against Charters & More!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

VIDEO UPDATE: Mayor Calls For Investigation Into Fact Finder's Report, New APS Teachers Contract Saves Money

Monday, October 4, 2010

Issue 17 discussion was on original APS board special meeting agenda. No word on what that "later date" is. Election is November 2nd.
Akron school board OK's teacher contract with health concessions, lump sum payment. Ducks talking about Issue 17 until "a later date".
Congrats to PD's and Akron native Brian Windhorst -- heading to ESPN & Miami.
VIDEO Hot Summer Helps Local Bicycle Businesses

Friday, October 1, 2010

VIDEO UPDATE: A local murder suspect awaits his court date, Akron Teachers have a new contract