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Akron mayoral foe claims fireworks fizzle; city says display the same as other recent years

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: July 5, 2013

Akron attorney and long-time city foe Warner Mendenhall regularly sends out emails lobbing some kind of bomb at the city.

His latest missive, sent about 11 p.m. Thursday, griped that the city's Fourth of July fireworks display was a dud and claiming "9 out of 10 attendees" demand Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic's recall.

"Anyone expecting the usual fireworks display missed it," he wrote.

If Mendenhall was referring to the large fireworks over the Innerbelt, the city hasn't offered this display for three years, cutting back to a smaller show at Lock 3 to save money in 2010. City officials say the scaled-back display saves about $100,000 a year in fireworks and police and firefighter overtime.

The city has also gotten outside donors to help cover the cost of the show, with this year's display supported by the Downtown Akron Partnership.

Mendenhall's email was mildly irritating for city spokeswoman Stephanie York, who said this year's fireworks were great and the "same as last year."

The fireworks were part of the city's Rib, White & Blue Festival, which features music, food and rides and continues through Sunday. For more information, visit www.Lock3live.com.

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