Wednesday, June 29, 2011

President Obama's news conference now LIVE on 1590 WAKR and streaming here

Monday, June 27, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Akron School Board votes 6-0 to offer Firestone head football coach Tim Flossie supplemental contract for 2011-2012, despite superintendent David James recommendation against

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Former Stark Treasurer Ziegler ordred bac to the job; nice story @WEWS from Tina Kaufmann.
Uh, never mind. No bridge lift closing S. Main Street this weekend after all.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Warren fire that killed six now blamed on charcoal BBQ grill.

Take A Swing At This!

Sure, we’ve got multiple wars, budget uncertainty, deficits hanging over the heads of our grandchildren, political squabbling...but thank God for golf’s foursome with a sense of humor.

These four guys -- Bubba Watson, Hunter Mahan, Ben Crane & Ricky Fowler -- more than make up for a missing Tiger.

Fun. With GOLF, no less.

U.S. Open starts today.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

No more Lee Jackson Field for Zips soccer; say hello to FirstEnergy Stadium Cub Cadet Field.
MORE Calise found guilty, all five counts, in toddler death.
Tiffani Calise found guilty in death of toddler she was babysitting.
Calise toddler murder verdict in; jury now at lunch, expecting an update on decision around 1p.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Thanks, Mayor Plusquellic!

And Warner Mendenhall. And Paul Hlynsky. And Mike Williams. And Kelley Williams-Bolar. And LeBron James.

We've been blessed here at the Rubber City radio ranch to have forward-thinking and community focused leadership that not only allows but encourages us to practice broadcast "old school" news coverage. We still think the basics, such as issues before city and county councils or school boards. This type of news matters, even when it isn't sexy.

We see the fruit of our labors annually when journalism groups -- such as Ohio's Associated Press Broadcasters -- recognize those in our profession. This past weekend, the news department of, WAKR-AM, WONE-FM and WQMX-FM were honored with awards (Marcy Pappafava and Joe Jastrzemski, at left) for Outstanding News and Sports Operations, Best Continuing Coverage (for following the City Hall-FOP year-long drama in 2010) and Best Reporter and Anchor kudos to Joe Jastrzemski.

These awards reflect a lengthy string of recognition for building a website -- and rebuilding a broadcast news outlet -- that will question authority, ask questions and work to present alternate views on public issues. It's what citizens should expect from the media, even during economic downturns and the tumult coming with the media transition seen when institutions (such as the press) are forced to respond more to the demands, or neglect, from their audience.

That said, we couldn't have done it without our readers and listeners. We couldn't have done it without the rich editorial content Akron seems to provide, either.

Whether it was the ongoing battle between City Hall and Akron's police union (2010), the recall fight between the Mayor Plusquellic and Change Akron Now critics (2009), or even going back to Tina Kaufmann's national-award winning investigative work on Akron's Hot Spots (2009) or coverage of the 2008 Elections, 2007 storms and flooding, even the 2003 Great Blackout, the news tapestry depended on many larger-than-life figures and events. Including larger-than-life egos and agendas.

Akron deserves vigorous debate on public issues; it's citizens deserve more than perfunctory coverage often provided by news organizations who don't call this place home. It deserves the next generation of talk show hosts, reporters, editors and news anchors who understand our audience isn't the person behind the podium but the person in front of the screen who reads, watches and listens to their world around them.

Last week, the Mayor took on bloggers who, as "total freaking idiots" post to the web "sitting in their underwear, in the mom's basement.". He was careful to note he wasn't painting that mental picture in our minds, just repeating what others have said. He was responding to critics when announcing new jobs for Akron. It was meant to be dismissive, but in point of fact it shows just how powerful the First Amendment can be.

Just as the Mayor is free to express his opinion using the bully pulpit of his public office, anyone -- sitting in their underwear or wearing a tie at their desk -- has the same right.

So thanks to Don, Warner, Paul, Mike, LeBron and the rest of the gang for award-winning times last year. Here's to Kelley and Edward -- Don, Mike and LeBron again this year, too -- for getting us off to such a good start in 2011. Thanks Governor John and Ohio Democrat boss Chris for keeping the wildfires burning in Columbus. Many thanks, President Barack and Speaker John, for keeping hope and debate alive in Washington.

At times it's soap opera, but it's always real. Your passion keeps our keyboards busy. The media would have a hard time staying relevant, topical and entertaining without you. I suspect you would have a hard time, too, without the stage set for the roles you play in the public drama.

Our uniquely American penchant to speak freely without fear of stormtroopers kicking down our doors couldn't have done it without you.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

OHSAA call of Hoban-Holy Name 1p state semifinal on-air on WAKR and streaming online here:
Williams jury gets lunch, time to talk in his records tampering and theft trial.
Jury getting case in Edward Williams theft and records tampering trial.
Here's the REVISED URL in the Stephens shooting report:
Link to revised story on @AkronNewsNow noting FBI ruling not of justification, but lack of evidence on "willfull."
Our story updated: apologies for use of word "justified" -- incorrect.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My Cleveland sports pals won't like it...but The King Deserves The Ring.

The King Deserves The Ring

The local media finally had a tag line it could push to a frenzy: "Cavs to Mavs" was the battle cry for all the LeBron haters. As if that would make a difference in the story line that started last summer with "The Decision."

The wound is apparently still raw, if one were to believe the spewing sports talk hosts in that city to the north. Clevelanders must still be avenged, they think, for the unthinkable crime of Cleveland's native son taking his talents to South Beach.

Except he wasn't, isn't, and will never be Cleveland's native son. He's Akron, and he hasn't abandoned his hometown. He just found another place to work. One where he'll recognize the professional rewards that come with his profession.

I'll admit to being one of those who would have liked to see someone else win the NBA title this year, but not because of hating LeBron. I would have enjoyed seeing a medium market team work it's own magic (hint) as a message to the way the NBA does business.

But that said, I also think it'll be great when LeBron visits and has a chance to bring another trophy to show Akron.

The Cleveland LeHaters would like you to believe LBJ never delivered on the championship for the Cavaliers, and that's true. He did, however, do so multiple times when helping bring home state championships to the high school he attended in his hometown. Let's not forget he also shared those MVP trophy days -- twice -- with his friends and family. In Akron.

The whiners would like you to remember the LeBron who stiffs restaurant workers on tips and otherwise displays some of the boorish behavior we often see with other athletes. They would like you to remember the LeBron who would hold up the team jet from away games, the player who demanded (and got) treatment above and beyond from management. Those stories are also true.

What they leave out, however, is a simple fact: LeBron, like so many young people of his age, left northeast Ohio behind to seek greater fame and fortune elsewhere. LeBron is the prototypical child of a region that doesn't seem concerned their sons and daughters take flight unless they throw footballs, hit baseballs or dunk basketballs.

There's no question LeBron's decision to stay with the Cavaliers would have left us with a better season than we got but likely a similar result: still waiting for that trip to the altar.

Does anyone seriously think a repeat of LeBron and Shaq in 2011 would have given us that different an outlook from 2010? LeBron did what champions do: he played the game to win. Dan Gilbert's post-Decision bluster that we'd see a title before LeBron will sound pretty empty by the end of next week.

So fly high, LeBron; play well with your friends and accomplish the goal you set when you realized the road to the title wasn't on I-77 but at the end of I-95. Your critics will cringe when you enjoy the fruits of your labor, but they won't be able to take away that ring. You had the vision it would come, just not here.

Note I didn't say just not here at home. Because Akron's still home, and we've seen LeBron the Champion play out before.
Not a surprise. Dispatch: Williams-Bolar nowhere near teaching goal at UA.