CANTON: Stark County Sheriff George Maier announced Friday that deputies and the OVI Task Force will conduct sobriety checkpoints Saturday in Navarre.
The specific locations were not disclosed.
The Sheriff’s Office urged motorists who plan to consume alcohol to use a designated driver.
Regardless of how many trials Stanley Ford has for the fatal fires he is accused of setting, he won’t have his day in court until next year.
A Summit County judge agreed Friday to delay the start of Ford’s capital murder trial, set to begin with jury selection in early August, until mid-January.
Judge Christine Croce also heard arguments about whether Ford should have separate trials for the arson fires that claimed nine lives. Defense attorneys claim Ford’s fair trial rights would be prejudiced by lumping the charges together.
“When dealing with the death penalty, death is different,” said Scott Rilley, one of Ford’s attorneys. “The law requires more due process. A death penalty case is not business and usual.”
Prosecutors, however, say cases involving defendants charged with multiple offense are routinely tried in Summit County. They also said there are similarities between the fires that tie them together, but separate evidence for each that would make it easy for jurors to distinguish them.
Croce plans to continue to further research the severance issue and rule on it at a later date.
Ford, 59, was indicted last July on 29 charges, including 22 counts of aggravated murder. The murder charges involve different parts of the law under which Ford was charged. He is being held in the Summit County Jail without bond.
Investigators say Ford set three fires in his neighborhood, with two people killed in one fire and seven — including five children — perishing in another. The third was a car fire with no injuries.
In each case, prosecutors say, Ford had a “beef” with his neighbors.
Defense attorneys Rilley and Joe Gorman filed the motion to sever the cases last month. They argued the arson cases are “separate and distinct” and to try the cases together would violate Ford’s due-process rights. They pointed to studies that looked at the impact of a trial with joined charges on the jury’s perception of the defendant.
“Across the board, a defendant was perceived as more dangerous, less likable, and less believable when presented with multiple charges than when presented with either charge individually,” Rilley said in court documents.
The sheer number of charges against Ford would be prejudicial and could bolster the prosecution’s case and cause jurors to confuse the incidents, Rilley said.
Prosecutors, however, said the arsons are similar and part of a “common scheme or plan,” which means they can be joined. They said having one trial would save time and money.
“The reasons there are multiple charges is there are multiple victims,” Chief Assistant Summit County Prosecutor Margaret Scott said in court documents. “Charges have been filed and are appropriate in each instance. Under the defense theory that multiple counts in the indictment are unduly prejudicial, no less than 29 trials would be necessary.”
Defense attorneys would like to see three trials — one for each of the fires — though they acknowledge two trials may be more realistic.
Croce said she hasn’t been able to find a death penalty case in which the question of the need for separate trials arose. She pointed to Craigslist killer Richard Beasley of Akron and Anthony Sowell, a Cleveland serial killer, as capital cases involving multiple deaths in which the issue of separate trials wasn’t raised. Both men are on Ohio’s death row.
“I think I could rule either way and be factually and legally sound,” she said. “The question is: Is actual prejudice shown?”
Croce cautioned the attorneys that there are issues for them to consider if she decides more than one trial is warranted. She said it could be possible, if she grants more than one trial, that she would still permit evidence of the other fires to be presented during the trial. She said prosecutors would have to decide which incident to try first.
Croce also addressed the issue of a handwritten motion filed by Ford that asked her to dismiss the charges against him. The judge said the motion had no legal basis and she admonished Ford that he wasn’t representing himself and she wouldn’t allow him to if he asked because he faces death. She asked him to go through his attorneys in the future.
The new schedule for Ford’s case puts the start of jury selection on Jan. 15, with the trial beginning Feb. 11. It’s expected to up to six weeks. If Ford is convicted, the sentencing phase would follow, potentially taking the case through March.
Prior to that, a status conference will be held July 10 to discuss whether Ford should be permitted to be in court without handcuffs during pretrials and July 27 to explore the argument of defense attorneys that the death penalty specifications should be dismissed because of alleged racial discrimination.
Stephanie Warsmith can be reached at 330-996-3705, [email protected] and on Twitter: @swarsmithabj.
BARBERTON: An employee at JR Engineering is accused of pulling out a gun and shooting another worker during an argument Friday morning, city police said.
Aaron Brooks, 29, of Barberton, is charged with felonious assault and having a weapon under disability. He is being held at the city jail.
“The two employees got into an argument and it escalated,” police spokesman Marty Eberhart said. “Nobody else in the complex was hurt or involved.”
Brooks was arrested a few minutes later by patrol officers and detectives, he said.
The male victim, who was not identified, was taken to Summa Akron City Hospital.
Police were called to the company, located at 775 Wooster Road West, shortly after 7 a.m.
Eberhart said he didn’t know what the argument involved or the positions held by the employees. The investigation is continuing, he said.
JR Engineering produces precision components and serves as a design and manufacturing center, according to the company website.
Company officials could not be immediately reached Friday for comment.
KENT: City health officials say a mosquito pool has tested positive for the West Nile virus.
A pool is a collection of 50 mosquitoes.
“This is a confirmation that the WNV threat is in the area and will persist for the remainder of the summer,” health Commissioner Jeff Neistadt said. “To date, no human cases of WNV have been reported in Kent or Portage County.”
He said the health department will increase surveillance and treatment activities in Kent and the surrounding areas, including mosquito spraying in the evenings to minimize any health risks to the public.
WADSWORTH: A crazy police chase that began in Cuyahoga County ended Thursday morning on Interstate 76 when the fleeing driver crashed into a semi-truck.
Beacon Journal partner News 5 Cleveland reported that the driver, Michael Graham, 30, of Lodi, crawled out of the wreckage near the Ridge Road exit and ran.
Authorities ultimately caught up with Graham, who faces charges of eluding police, the report said.
The chase began when Strongsville police clocked Graham speeding south on Interstate 71 at 141 mph about 3 a.m. Police gave up the chase for a time because it was too dangerous after Graham exited at state Route 18 in Medina, the report said.
But other law enforcement resumed the chase twice more in coming hours as Graham reportedly raced through southern Medina County before crashing in Wadsworth.
The crash and an unrelated fatal accident on Interstate 77 in Akron Thursday morning caused headaches for many commuters snared in the aftermath on the two major freeways.
Gone are the days of educators teaching kids to “just say no” with frightening visual representations of a brain on drugs.
But today’s new wave of drug prevention programming in some schools might be just as ineffective — and, in some cases, harmful to developing minds.
Ohio State Attorney General Mike DeWine released a guide for schools this week outlining how they can implement effective drug prevention programs starting in kindergarten while ditching scare tactics — like mock car crashes — and other common approaches used in schools.
The guide is based on a 2017 report from the Ohio Joint Study Committee on Drug Use Prevention Education that said schools should provide consistent, age-appropriate, evidence-based prevention education for all students from kindergarten through 12th grade.
The committee made 15 recommendations that the state implemented in its guide.
Part of the report recommends avoiding programs that could be harmful to kids’ long-term substance use, like stories from recovering addicts; information on drugs and their effects; general awareness and statistics; teaching the signs and symptoms of addiction; and showing graphic visuals of substance use or drug paraphernalia displays.
Studies have long shown that scare tactics are ineffective, despite their continued, yet dwindling, role in prevention programming.
But stories and even simple statements of facts can actually attract kids to substance use, said Molly Stone, the Prevention Services Chief for the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
Listening to recovering addicts talk about their success might minimize the negative effects of substance abuse in kids’ developing minds. And even a brief description of a drug’s euphoric effects might attract a potential user.
Even if those tactics don’t cause harm to kids, they’re not proven to be effective in the long-term, Stone said.
“A lot of folks who have lost their children want to come in and share the story. It’s appropriate for parents, but sharing with children can be traumatic and cause additional harm,” said Stone, who served on the committee that made recommendations for the report. “I’ve spoken with several of those folks, and they say the kids get it. They do at that moment, but once they walk out of the gymnasium, that’s gone.”
What’s more effective is replacing stark anti-drug messaging with curriculum that teaches social and emotional skills — like self-control, emotional awareness and problem-solving — across subject areas.
Ohio schools are required to implement social-emotional learning in grades K to 3, but the attorney general’s new report recommends expanding that to all grade levels and placing more emphasis on it at the elementary level, while kids are still impressionable.
Akron Public Schools was highlighted in the report for its PAX Good Behavior Game that it uses in its elementary schools.
The game helps kids identify and demonstrate good behavior and rewards them for doing so with short breaks from their studies.
Although the game has quickly spread across the county and state over the past few years, the PAX game was first piloted in Akron Public Schools by the Summit County Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services (ADM) Board in 2015 as a drug prevention program. It has since resulted in fewer classroom disruptions and fewer suspensions, said Andrew Ziccardi, the school climate specialist in the district.
“It takes a kid’s ability to self-regulate and it increases it … and it does it in context with collaborating with other people,” Ziccardi said.
Replacing scare tactics with the promotion of better behavior is something 18-year-old Delaney Monroe agrees with.
Some of those tactics are still used regularly at Nordonia High School, where Monroe recently graduated from, like a mock car crash to teach kids not to drink and drive during prom.
“I think that it’s definitely ineffective … it sends a no-driving message, but I don’t think it sends a no-drinking message,” Monroe said. “It makes it OK to drink if you don’t get in a car. And if someone does unfortunately get into a car and has been drinking and doesn’t get into a crash, they could do it again.”
In contrast, Nordonia Hills City Schools’ PANDA, Junior Teen Institute and Teen Institute programs were all highlighted in the attorney general’s report as some of the state’s best practices because of their positive prevention strategies and youth leadership.
While the programs have been there for decades, Monroe said she noticed a shift in the five years she was involved in the Teen Institute. Instead of focusing on not using drugs, the group now focuses more on what to do instead of drugs, like playing sports, meditating and volunteering.
The Teen Institute has played a large role in Monroe’s life — in the fall, she’s starting school at the University of Akron, where she hopes to become certified as a prevention specialist and eventually return to the high school to further the Teen Institute’s mission.
“It’s given me a way to just see that I’m not alone in these healthy decisions I’m making,” Monroe said.
The guide also emphasized that programs are not one-size-fits-all, and other entities, such as law enforcement and parents, play a role as well.
The guide is being sent to all school districts in the state, and administrators will also be invited to regional training sessions in the fall. To read the full report, visit https://tinyurl.com/ohioprevention.
Theresa Cottom can be reached at 330-996-3216 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @Theresa_Cottom.
Akron’s first center for financial empowerment is open for business.
Run by the United Way of Summit County in a bank location shuttered and donated last year by Huntington, the center at 1060 Kenmore Blvd. is accepting the first of an estimated 500 clients this year. By 2025, the United Way — in a growing partnership with the city of Akron — expects to use the center, and more to come, to equip 11,000 Summit County residents with the skills they need to get out of debt, build equity, better budget their money, improve credit scores and generally lift themselves out of poverty.
It all starts in Kenmore. The city has previously identified North Hill, Ellet, West Akron and Firestone Park as possibly next locations for empowerment centers, plus a mobile unit that can park outside libraries and businesses to meet workers and residents who are less likely to have immediate access to basic financial services.
At no charge to the customer, and no cost to the city, the centers will be open to all regardless of where they live or how much they make. But the programming is geared more for the working poor, of which Kenmore and Akron have plenty.
The United Way estimates that 57 percent of Akron residents struggle to afford basic necessities. About a quarter live below the federal poverty line. And a third lack bank accounts or use check-cashers, payday lenders, rent-to-own agreements or pawn shops to make ends meet each month.
The mix of stubborn poverty, declining homeownership and predatory lending practices have left many at what the city has called tipping points. A little financial know-how could bring them back from the brink.
Inside the renovated bank branch are three cubicles for financial counselors who will provide each client with an assessment of their individual and household wealth, debt, ability to borrow and banking activity, including whether they even use a bank. Over time, these measures are expected to improve as the center helps clients with low- or no-fee savings accounts offered by traditional banks that have agreed to join the United Way’s Bank on the Rubber City collaborative.
In addition to the one-on-one financial planning, the center will offer free tax preparation services for any household earning less than $60,000 a year.
The whole project is made possible by a $20,000 planning grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies and $250,000 through 2019 from the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund. The United Way, which is contributing $300,000 in matching funds, has agreed to sustain the mission when outside money runs out in 2020.
Jim Mullen, president and CEO of the United Way, said his organization is in this for the long haul. “This is the start. This is not the finish,” he told a crowd of community organization and city leaders who attended the center’s ribbon-cutting Thursday morning. “This program will be offered to all residents. And we will continue to look for opportunities to expand financial empowerment throughout the city of Akron and Summit County.”
Mullen praised the willingness of the city to fast-track this first center.
Mayor Dan Horrigan welcomed the empowerment model as a way to move the needle on the city’s poverty rate, “which has been stuck in the higher range for our community for too long.”
“I’m all about trying to attract people to the city. I know our population needs to grow,” Horrigan said. “But I’ll tell you, if we’re not helping the people that are here with financial empowerment, with better education, then I think we’re missing the boat.”
Fairlawn is expanding its broadband utility beyond the city limits.
The community is leasing space on the Medina County Fiber Network and has started offering its FairlawnGig service to businesses and households along the government-owned network, which stretches for 151 miles throughout Medina County and into Parma and downtown Akron.
“We’re now more of a regional provider than just a city of Fairlawn provider,” said Ernie Staten, the city deputy director of public service who oversees FairlawnGig.
Residential and business customers in Medina County and downtown Akron now are able to sign up for the municipal-run internet and phone services.
Fairlawn invested about $10 million to install fiber on every street in the community and the Joint Economic Development District, bringing internet service and phone service to the front doors of homeowners and businesses last year.
Forty-seven percent of households and businesses in Fairlawn — or about 1,850 customers — have signed up for the service so far.
FairlawnGig now offers up to 100 gigabit connections for business customers and a 10 gigabit connection for residential customers. The city also offers a direct connection to the Amazon Cloud, Staten said.
The high-speed internet service costs $75 a month for households and $500 a month for businesses.
The city has had many requests from outside the community for the service but focused first on getting the system up and running in Fairlawn before expanding, Staten said.
The city is leasing space on the Medina County Fiber Network for a base price of $2,800 a year, with additional costs for usage, he said.
FairlawnGig is one of 13 carriers, and the only municipal operation using the network.
“It’s great that we are partnering with a municipal network,” Fiber Network CEO David Corrado said.
Medina County created the open network six years ago through a bond issue.
Staten noted that there is an installation fee to connect new customers to the network, with the cost depending on the distance from the fiber and other factors.
Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @armonrickABJ.
Voters are identifying as Democrats nearly three times faster than they are with the GOP, according to a post-primary election report released Thursday by the Ohio Secretary of State.
The report still has Republicans on top in Ohio, though Democrats are showing higher turnout and growing faster in this midterm election year, which national Democrats are calling a referendum on the Republican dominance of the legislative and executive branches in Columbus and Washington, D.C.
Ohio’s statewide partisan breakdown is now 2,043,219 Republicans, up from 1,983,057 before the May primary, and 1,436,637 Democrats, up from 1,271,205. That’s an increase of 165,432 voters, up 13 percent, for Democrats and 60,162 for Republicans, a 3 percent increase.
Among Summit County’s 364,165 registered voters, 1,208 Democrats became Republicans and 3,305 Republicans became Democrats, by virtue of pulling a partisan ballot. Overall, 39,188 Democratic ballots and 31,208 Republican ballots were cast in Summit County in the May primary.
In terms of overall voter statewide turnout by party, 51 percent of Democrats and 43 percent of Republicans participated in the May election.
The bulk of the Democratic gains are from previously unaffiliated voters pulling a Democratic ballot in May. Among previously unaffiliated voters who picked a major political party last month, 211,184 joined Democrats and 8,037 got off the sidelines to vote for a Republican primary candidate.
Green Party voter affiliations sit at 7,353.
The results of this most recent election appear to reverse some of the gains made by Republicans in 2016, returning Ohio to a political homeostasis prior to President Donald Trump energizing the state’s Republican base. In 2016, three times as many Democrats flipped Republican. This year, the trend was twice as many Republicans switching to Democrat.
With nearly 8 million registered voters in Ohio, most (4,472,604) remain unaffiliated heading into the November election, during which Ohioans will pick all new statewide officeholders, including a governor. It will be a busy midterm election for Ohio with 16 U.S. and 99 state House seats on the ballot, as well as 17 state Senate seats and a match-up between incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican Jim Renacci for U.S. Senate.
SUFFIELD TWP.: Goodyear’s newest airship, Wingfoot Three, debuted outdoors on the first day of summer.
The airship, under construction since last year inside the Wingfoot Lake blimp base in Suffield Township, was pulled out of the hangar about 6:15 a.m. Thursday for testing. The blimp remained outside until 11:45 a.m. before returning to the hangar.
Wingfoot Three remained tethered to its heavy-duty mast truck for the outdoor engine and systems checks.
“Today is a milestone for what later will be November Three Alpha [Wingfoot Three], which will be the call sign for the aircraft,” said Adam Basaran, assistant chief pilot at the Wingfoot Lake base. “It’s its first day out of the hangar. And we’re using today to do engine testing. We’ll be calibrating some of the instrumentation and avionics as well.”
The first flight could take place this weekend. But the forecast as of Thursday called for rain on Friday and Saturday, which would postpone the first flight.
The first flight depends on the weekend weather, Basaran said Thursday. “The test flight period may last for a few weeks.”
Goodyear on Thursday confirmed this new semi-rigid airship will be called Wingfoot Three. That’s not a surprise — the blimp’s two sister NT, or New Technology, ships are Wingfoot One and Wingfoot Two.
Wingfoot Three’s most noticeable difference from the first two airships is two extra windows at the rear of the gondola that holds the flight crew and passengers.
Wingfoot Three is the third and final NT airship for Goodyear. The NT airships were made by German manufacturer Zeppelin.
The Wingfoot Lake site will be the permanent base for Wingfoot Three, meaning it will be a familiar sight in Northeast Ohio skies.
Basaran, who is 37, said he will be flying all three airships, with his home base at Wingfoot Lake.
If all goes well, Wingfoot Three could be put into official service in the next month or two, Basaran said.
Weather conditions Thursday were perfect for Wingfoot Three’s debut, with blue skies and a light breeze.
For those of you keeping track, the blimp left the hangar just eight minutes after the summer solstice, also known as the longest day of the year, began at 6:07 a.m.
In case you looked up in Akron-area skies recently and saw a Goodyear blimp, that was Wingfoot One, which first flew in 2014 after being built at Wingfoot Lake.
The airship flew here from its Florida home in early June, stayed temporarily at Wingfoot Lake and now is touring elsewhere in the Midwest.
Reporter Jim Mackinnon covers business and county government. He can be reached at 330-996-3544 or [email protected]. Follow him @JimMackinnonABJ on Twitter or http://www.facebook.com/JimMackinnonABJ.
At first glance, it’s surprising that emotions are still so intense about something that happened half a century ago. On the other hand, given what was at stake, perhaps it should not be surprising at all.
My email and voicemail exploded after a column about my experience with the Vietnam draft lottery.
Many of the responses were extremely thoughtful and passionate. Here are a few.
I was struck by how many of the men who didn’t have to go to Vietnam expressed feelings of guilt.
Bob: Reliving that tangled, confused time in America’s and my history still brings back jagged emotions.
I am the same vintage (1952) as you. As you can see [in an attached photo], I still carry my draft card, a reminder of how fortunate I have been to sail through that era onto years of education and rewarding professional life.
But the element of guilt has really never disappeared. My 1-A became 2-S in a manner of weeks when I started college.
Got my 304 lottery number same day as you 47 years ago. Was the last week of summer work driving a forklift at a local factory in southeast Minnesota just prior to starting a hospital job in St. Paul that eventually led to medical school.
Golden boys like me were free to block Snelling Avenue in St. Paul protesting the Tet offensive while poor high school classmates like Wubsy Schneider came back from Vietnam without legs. Leaves an impression you never really shake — nor probably ever should.
I have been fascinated by the study of cultural demographics and generations. I have always argued the baby boomers are really two generations: those to whom Vietnam was and remains a sentinel marker in their life’s journey, and those who did not face that — say 1955 and on.
This fellow both called and wrote. He wrote because in two voicemails he broke down and couldn’t finish his thoughts.
His birthday came up No. 365. He says he literally went outside and did somersaults in his yard.
Bob: We must be deeply thankful for those who fought in that searing, humid quagmire.
I know my DNA is affected by my dad’s WWII service in the Marine Corps in five different Pacific Island campaigns as a forward observer. He lost good friends there. Hard to believe he functioned as well as he did after the war.
Can’t believe I have not regularly showed my appreciation for my peers who served. I plan to make some changes. Your column has awakened me a bit. (I am slow to change.)
I plan to remind my friends of the same age who did not serve. Maybe we’ll appreciate servicemen and women next time we’re having a good old time.
Bob: Great piece on a subject long ignored. Today’s young people — guys in particular, because the draft did not affect females — do not realize how this impacted our lives.
I thought I’d share a story of the first draft lottery, held Dec. 1, 1969. It affected every male in the United States between the ages of 19 and 26. I was 20 and in my last year of college.
Some may remember that the TV broadcast was a total disaster. By the time it went on the air, about 50 dates had already been drawn, and unless the camera panned a certain way and your picture was extraordinarily clear, you had no idea whether your birthday had already been called. And remember, those among the first 90-120 dates were definitely going to be selected.
I was watching at my then-fiancee’s house. The disastrous bingo game continued, but early into the 300 numbers, it inexplicably went off the air to resume regular programming.
My number had not been called while I was watching and no one knew what the first 50 numbers were, so all I knew was that I was either in the first 50 or the last 65. That meant there was no middle ground. I was either definitely going or definitely not.
My fiancee tried to calm me down and asked me if I would pull the car off the street as it was snowing pretty badly. I did. The radio was on when I started the car and I heard a grim voice say “Number 320: Dec. 15.” I came back much relieved.
Bob: Your column brought back memories.
With a birthday on June 27, 1954, I came up for the lottery in March 1973 earning the honor of being drawn as No. 001.
Some panic led to a brief bender and much worry. My father, a WWII vet with two Purple Hearts who voted for Goldwater and Nixon, told me to go to Canada.
Like you, I do not mean to disrespect the vets who served us in that poorly conceived and ill-fated conflict. I worked with many of them in the BF Goodrich factory in the mid-’70s. Their emotional wounds from the war were often open and obvious. They taught me much about the world which still informs and, I hope, improves my work.
Fortunately, the draft ended shortly after the lottery, sparing me the trip to Vietnam or Canada.
Thanks for the reminder.
Kent State University has joined with the LeBron James Family Foundation to help high school kids in the foundation’s I Promise program prepare for college and beyond.
The partnership kicked off last week with a three-week Flash P’ACT summer program, an overnight immersion experience on Kent State’s campus where 29 upcoming 10th-grade students have been focusing on ACT test preparation, college readiness and personal development.
The camp is meant to not only help students succeed in high school, but to also see themselves as successful college students.
“It’s fun, but it’s also been a good learning experience,” Alex Knight, 15, said Wednesday as he and a group of peers worked on math problems. “I’ve always wanted to go to college.”
Participants are living on the campus Monday through Friday until June 29. There, they are getting college experiences by attending college courses, nightly university-sanctioned recreation and wellness events, daily meals in the campus dining facilities and more.
Since the program started June 11, the kids have been exposed to the perks — and pitfalls — of college living.
“It’s a great opportunity to meet new people,” said Anthony Claytor, 16.
“We get to stay in a dorm … but I think I might want my own dorm [in college], because mine is messy now,” added 16-year-old Ja’Naya Dowdell.
The oldest participants in the I Promise program are going into 10th grade in the fall and will graduate from high school in 2021.
“As our oldest I Promise students continue to find their footing in high school, they’re at that pivotal time where it’s critical they get all the support they need to stay on track,” said Michele Campbell, executive director of the LeBron James Family Foundation, in a written statement.
After the three-week program, the university’s commitment to the foundation will continue in the fall, when students at Kent State will provide weekly one-on-one mentoring to I Promise 10th-graders to help set and monitor college and career goals. Mentors will help students with weekly goal-setting, technology literacy, study habits and more.
“We’re very excited to begin this partnership with [the foundation],” said university spokesman Eric Mansfield. “It’s a long-term commitment to help these students succeed in high school and prepare for college, wherever they go.”
Third- and fourth-grade students in the I Promise program will consolidate in the I Promise School opening this fall. The school will eventually house grades one through eight, and any student in the program who does not make it into the school will continue with normal programming until graduation.
Theresa Cottom can be reached at 330-996-3216 or [email protected].
We’ve taken some pretty bold stances in the past.
Like in 1985 when we editorialized that Hurricane Danny was a good thing because it brought some much-needed rain to Akron. Rain is good for plants.
Or in 2002 when we lamented that the Thanksgiving turkey was being pushed aside for shopping. You can’t eat a bargain sweater.
So it should come as little surprise that we believe Akron native LeBron James should stay put. LeBron is our guy, and who doesn’t love a winning sports team in Cleveland?
Inside Thursday’s edition of the Akron Beacon Journal is a full-page plea in the Sports section declaring there’s “No Place Like Home,” asking James to stay with the Cavaliers. A similar plea appears on our website, Ohio.com.
With the start of the NBA Draft and the LeBron recruitment derby, the plan is to gather reasons from local folks and from faraway Akron fans as to why James should choose to keep his “talents” right here in Northeast Ohio.
Whether it is easy access to his beloved Swensons burgers or legions of adoring No. 23-wearing fans or having a front-row seat to witness the opening of his foundation’s I Promise School in Akron, we want to hear them all. And you might even win some cash.
We already know he loves us. This is the guy who often shrugs and humbly tells reporters as he eclipses NBA milestone after milestone that he’s “just a kid from Akron” who plays “all positions.”
We watched him grow in the glare of the national spotlight from a teen wearing a St. Vincent-St. Mary High School uniform to a man hailed as a king in the NBA.
But through it all, he has still called Akron home.
Often when he films a commercial for the likes of Nike or Beats, he makes the crew come here to use the city or his high school as a backdrop.
His selling of the city has manifested in signature Nike shoes that over the years have paid homage to his hometown and his Fighting Irish high school days.
A megastar in his own right, he’s brought other stars to town to show them around, from Amy Schumer for a star-studded premiere of Trainwreck to fellow NBA superstar Kevin Durant for a ride around Akron to film an episode for his Uninterrupted entertainment channel.
Beacon Journal editor Bruce Winges said he’s watched as other cities, including Philadelphia this go-round and Miami the last time a “decision” was coming, make public pitches here with billboards for James.
Winges said he wanted the Beacon Journal/Ohio.com to make its own public case for James to stay.
“LeBron, we want you to stay home,” he said simply.
As we receive your reasons why LeBron should stay, Winges said the best of the best will be plucked out and used on the various platforms Akron’s news leader has at its disposal, from the printed edition to Ohio.com to the giant digital screen atop the newspaper’s iconic clock tower in downtown Akron.
To participate, visit ohio.com/contests . You might even win a $250 Visa gift card.
“He has done a lot for our community and we want him to stay,” the editor said. “We believe there’s no place like home. And he’s done a hell of a lot for our schools and our community.
“There’s no place like home.”
Craig Webb, who believes LeBron should stay because we have a steady supply of Lawson’s chip dip and sauerkraut balls, can be reached at [email protected] or 330-996-3547.
With a backdrop fit for a post-apocalyptic movie set, Akron’s mayor took one last trip down memory lane before the jagged teeth of an excavator slammed into the concrete stands of the Rubber Bowl.
The yellow machine has been nibbling on the stadium all week. By this fall, the Public Works Administration project from 1940 will be mostly chewed up and carried away.
Wrecking crews from Louisville-based Eslich Wrecking Co. will continue chomping away at the stadium through October, taking breaks to avoid disturbing the All-American Soap Box Derby in mid-July.
When completed, this first phase of the demolition — which is costing the city, Summit County and the Land Bank $200,000 — will topple 60 percent of the old stadium, starting with the side closest to Derby Downs. What’s left will resemble an amphitheater with no stage. This remaining 40 percent, built into a hill, could cause the collapse of George Washington Boulevard if removed.
Mayor Dan Horrigan invited the media and staff to the Rubber Bowl on Wednesday to observe the demolition. There, he offered a fond farewell to generations of football games, first dates and rock concerts.
“Today is a bittersweet moment,” said Horrigan, who spoke of attending Friday night football games with his dad. “While the Rubber Bowl is standing before us, it is a vacant eyesore. It’s really a magnet for vandalism and a safety hazard.”
The mayor warned against trespassing, which has ticked up amid news of the stadium’s imminent destruction. Private security will stay on site around the clock, he said. Any unauthorized visitors will be prosecuted.
“This structure was once a beacon of engineering and athletic skill and entertainment in our city. And I think I speak for most Akronites of my generation when I say that the Rubber Bowl served as a gathering place, not only for myself but for the events that bookmarked many of our lives,” the 55-year-old mayor said.
There will be no public ceremony at the stadium. No other eulogy. No keepsakes for sale.
While concrete and rebar are recycled, salvaging chunks of the stadium or squares of turf would have been too “difficult to manage,” Horrigan said.
The city plans to pursue state aid and use more capital funds, maybe next year, to address the remaining 40 percent of the stadium. Akron applied for state funding for the project this year but didn’t receive it.
Future use of the property is unclear. Ellet Councilman Bob Hoch, who serves on an advisory board for the neighboring Akron Fulton International Airport, said there are no plans to redevelop the land.
Some people have proposed turning the stadium site into a public park. Hoch said the city already has more parks than it can afford to take care of.
And, so, only memories will fill the space, for now.
In the mid-1980s, concert-goers funneling in to the Rubber Bowl to see the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan or Tom Petty would have walked past Hoch, who sold band T-shirts as a side job. He remembers when Karl Wallenda walked a tightrope over a sellout crowd — with no net — during a University of Akron football game in the 1970s. On Thanksgiving mornings, he rarely missed the city’s high school football teams clashing like giants at the Rubber Bowl.
“It got to be a big treat to attend the Turkey Day Games then go home and eat turkey,” said Hoch, whose fondest memory was coaching his sons’ youth football teams, which played their championship games at the Rubber Bowl.
“It’s bittersweet,” Hoch said of what was and what might never be again. “I’ve told a lot of people that I wanted to see something positive with this.”
A Norton widow is accusing Summa Health and its emergency medicine physician group of negligent care that she says led to the death of her 58-year-old husband.
In a wrongful death lawsuit filed Wednesday, Julie Bradshaw alleges that her husband’s death from a stroke last year was caused, in part, by negligent care and “deviations from acceptable industry standards” after Summa abruptly switched ER physicians and lost its emergency medicine residency training program.
In the suit, filed in Summit County Common Pleas Court, Bradshaw claims her husband wasn’t seen by an attending physician for about 20 hours after he arrived in the Summa Barberton Hospital emergency room for vertigo.
The physicians then failed to treat him for a stroke despite test results confirming he was experiencing the life-threatening condition, Bradshaw alleges in the suit.
The suit names 23 defendants, including Akron-based Summa; Canton-based U.S. Acute Care Solutions (USACS), which staffs Summa’s ERs; several physicians; and other health care providers.
According to the suit, Robert Bradshaw was taken by ambulance late in the morning on Aug. 1, 2017, to Summa’s Barberton ER. About three hours later, CT scan results “were suspicious for cerebellar stroke and Mr. and Mrs. Bradshaw were told he was having a stroke,” the lawsuit alleges.
Four hours after arriving in the ER, Bradshaw was seen for the first time by a doctor — an intern and first-year family medicine resident who “would have been approximately one month out of medical school,” according to the lawsuit. That physician did not activate a Stroke Team, the suit said.
A consultation by a neurologist also was ordered but no neurologist ever came, according to the suit.
Later in the evening, a third-year medical resident physician saw Mr. Bradshaw for “reported mental status changes” and “simply instructed the nurse to re-orient Mr. Bradshaw, and try to get him to relax despite his diagnosed cerebellar stroke,” according to the suit.
Despite being in the ER for 10 hours before being admitted to the hospital, “no emergency medicine physician or attending physician ever examined Mr. Bradshaw,” the lawsuit said.
The certified nurse practitioner and residents who saw Bradshaw were “all apparently practicing medicine and advanced practice nursing without any direct supervision,” the suit alleges.
The lawsuit cites the loss of Summa’s emergency medicine residency training program, including violations cited from the national accrediting body, as a factor in Bradshaw’s death.
In February 2017, the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) revoked the program after determining there were delays in obtaining specialized care for patients with possible strokes, first-year residents and rotating residents were seeing patients without supervision and patients were being sent home without ever been seen or examined by an attending physician.
Summa saw an abrupt changeover of the longtime emergency medicine physician group on New Year’s Day 2017 after failed negotiations. The switch to USACS resulted in upheaval at Summa, including the resignation of the former CEO after hundreds of doctors voted no confidence in his leadership.
In her lawsuit, Bradshaw says her husband’s condition further deteriorated and he was not seen by an attending physician for the total 20 hours he was at Summa Barberton.
Despite being paged by a nurse when Bradshaw’s condition worsened, the third-year resident never checked on him until after he had a heart attack, according to the suit.
Bradshaw’s cardiac arrest, the suit alleges, “caused by the failure to monitor and timely and properly treat Mr. Bradshaw’s cerebellar stroke.”
After the resident discussed Bradshaw’s case with an attending physician by phone, the patient was transferred to Summa’s main Akron City Hospital.
Bradshaw’s wife was told by a medical provider while at Barberton’s intensive care unit that her husband should have been transferred to Akron City earlier “in part because Barberton Hospital did not have neurology services,” the suit alleges.
Surgery at Akron City
Bradshaw had surgery at Akron City but died four days later.
His death certificate said he died of a “cerebellar stroke — cerebral edema.”
The case has been assigned to Summit County Common Pleas Judge Jay Wells’ court. Spokesmen for both Summa and USACS said they could not comment on pending litigation.
Julie Bradshaw’s attorney, Megan Frantz Oldham, said, “Mr. Bradshaw’s family prays that this action will cause Summa to implement patient safety measures that will prevent a tragedy like this from happening to another family.”
Medical writer Betty Lin-Fisher can be reached at 330-996-3724 or [email protected]. Follow her @blinfisherABJ on Twitter or http://www.facebook.com/BettyLinFisherABJ and see all her stories at http://www.ohio.com/betty
Another 112 apartments could be coming to downtown Akron across the street from where roughly 90 apartments are in the works.
The projects — spearheaded by different developers — are directly across from each other on South Main Street.
On Wednesday, state officials revealed that the new project — which would create apartments in the 100-plus-year old Law Building at 159 S. Main Street — has landed about $2.4 million in state historic preservation tax credits.
Tom Rybak is the New Jersey developer and architect who owns the Law Building, at South Main and Bowery streets, north of the Akron Civic Theatre.
He bought the structure, currently an office building that has suffered from low occupancy rates in the last several years, for $2 million in late 2016 and plans a project with an estimated cost of $24.5 million.
He said Wednesday his plan all along was to convert some of the building’s 11 floors into apartments.
Across the street is the proposed $40 million Bowery redevelopment project that would bring 90 to 100 new apartments downtown, as well as add retail and office space.
It involves redeveloping six empty and long-empty buildings, including the vacant 12-story Landmark Building, at Bowery and Main streets.
The two apartment projects are seen as a crucial part of upgrading downtown Akron to attract residents, retailers and other businesses.
During a news conference Wednesday in the Law Building’s lobby, Rybak said real estate investors all across the country are turning to downtown housing projects as the market for shopping malls and office buildings has waned.
“The beauty of this whole situation is the downtown that got destroyed was by shopping malls,” he said.
“And now the shopping malls are coming down and everybody’s coming back to downtown,” Rybak said. “That’s why it’s an exciting time for Akron and cities like Akron.”
Rybak was joined at the news conference by officials with the state’s Historic Preservation Office, who administer the tax credit program designed to spur the rehabilitation of historic properties.
Developers help finance their projects by selling the federal and state tax credits to investors, who use them to trim their tax bills. The credits aren’t received until projects are completed.
The state’s Historic Preservation Office calls the Law Building by its much older name: the First-Second National Bank Building. Before it was dubbed the Law Building, the structure was called the Key Building, after former major tenant Key National Bank.
The building — constructed in the neoclassical revival style — dates to 1911. The top four floor were added in 1919.
Rybak said Wednesday about 25 percent of the Law Building is occupied.
His plan is to put 112 one- and two-bedroom apartments in floors five through 11, the top floor. Rents would be about $1,200 to $1,300 for a one-bedroom unit, and about $1,300 to $1,400 for a two-bedroom unit.
The basement and first floor would be marketed to retail tenants, while the second through fourth floors would house offices.
“It will become a community in itself,” he said of the building, noting he plans such amenities as a theater, space for cooking classes and meetings, and bicycle storage. He’s talking with daycare operators about setting up a daycare center in about 12,000 square feet of space, and he’s even thinking about having a doorman.
Parking would be in the Summit County Parking Deck.
He envisions beginning renovations later this year and completing the project 16 to 18 months after that.
Much of the financing is in place, he said. He hopes to receive a loan through the Summit County Development Finance Authority to finance costs associated with improving the building’s energy efficiency.
Additionally, the project was awarded about $5 million in federal historic preservation tax credits.
He has a silent partner in the project, a developer in New York.
Some downtown projects have fallen through, even after they received tax credits.
Rybak said he’s confident his project will be different.
“I wouldn’t be spending the time and coming down from New Jersey and spending two hours here [Wednesday] and something doesn’t happen,” he said. “It’s just highly unlikely.”
Earlier this year, a crucial piece of funding for the Bowery project fell through. People with the project learned in mid-February that the federal New Market Tax Credits they had applied for were instead allocated elsewhere in the country.
This left officials scrambling to find millions in dollars in other financing for the downtown Akron revitalization effort.
One of the developers in this project has said the timetable should be unaffected, with a closing still scheduled for this summer. The previously announced goal is to have the development completed in 2019.
Akron city officials have said the city’s new residential tax abatement program is helping to spur some 500 units of new housing — single-family homes and apartments — projected to come online in the next few years.
The program forgives 100 percent of additional property taxes for 15 years on any new residential construction or renovation projects of $5,000 or more.
The Law Building was one of 31 buildings that have been awarded a combined $30.2 million in state credits, representatives of the Ohio Historic Preservation said Wednesday.
Among the buildings were three in Cuyahoga Falls: Alhambra at 2101 Front St., Snook at 127 Portage Trail and Porter at 127 Portage Trail.
The state awarded $202,000 in credits for a $1.8 million project that would renovate these three buildings. The Alhambra, which now houses office space, was built in 1904 as a theater. It is to be rehabilitated for office use. The Snook and Porter buildings are in a block built in 1919. The project would update the vacant upper-floor apartments and add new stairs.
In Cleveland, the Terminal Tower at 50 Public Square received $5 million in the state tax credits to convert a portion of the 52-story building into residential units.
Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or [email protected].
U.S. immigration officials raided a large meat supplier Tuesday afternoon in Salem and arrested more than 100 workers suspected of utilizing stolen or fraudulent identification to garner employment.
As many as 100 federal agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations also descended upon facilities operated by Fresh Mark in Massillon and Canton, where they conducted related investigations and executed federal document search warrants, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
No arrests were made at the Fresh Mark plant in Massillon as of Tuesday evening, according to Det. Shaun Dadisman of the Massillon Police Department, who was one of three city detectives joining about 16 federal agents at the Massillon plant.
The special agents were conducting an investigation, which was confirmed by Dadisman, who declined to offer further details. The federal probe is expected to continue into Wednesday locally, he said.
Dadisman said the city’s police presence was a secondary role and was likely to conclude Tuesday night.
According to reports from other media outlets, ICE officials said the number of workers arrested is likely to climb once the investigation is concluded. Officials said some arrested workers could face federal charges for identity theft and/or reentry after deportation.
The raid was the result of more than a year-long investigation into Fresh Mark and its employees, and whether the company knowingly hired and harbored undocumented workers, according to news reports. Workers arrested would be taken to detention centers in Michigan and Ohio, while others might be deported immediately.
ICE said people who are detained will await removal proceedings, while other workers could potentially be released on humanitarian grounds, the media reports said.
A number of federal agents wearing armored vests were seen outside the meat supplier Tuesday afternoon on Southway Street SW. Massillon police arrived to assist about 4 p.m., Dadisman said.
Federal and city investigators were seen standing outside the building talking to company officials.
Brittany Julian, director of corporate communications for Fresh Mark, issued an email statement late Tuesday afternoon confirming that ICE agents from Homeland Security were in the three facilities.
According to the company’s website, Fresh Mark is a major supplier of bacon, ham, sausage, hot dogs and lunch meats carrying the Sugardale and Superior labels. The company employs more than 1,000 employees in multiple plants.
On Tuesday night, Julian via email referred all further media inquiries to Homeland Security due to the “law enforcement nature of (Tuesday’s) events.”
A Homeland Security public affairs representative told The Independent by phone that the office was “inundated with (media) requests” and to submit an inquiry regarding Fresh Mark by email. No response from the federal agency came as of Tuesday night.
According to Julian, Fresh Mark was the first company in Ohio to partner with ICE in the voluntary ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers, or IMAGE, program.
The program between the federal government and private employers ensures a lawful workforce, she said.
Akron is fighting one of only three locations where patients can soon buy medical marijuana in Summit County.
City Planner Jason Segedy and Zoning Manager Mike Antenucci told the Planning Commission last week that a “highly secure and unobtrusive” dispensary at 46 S. Summit St. “falls short of the land use characteristics expected within the Downtown Arts District and Northside Community Entertainment District.”
The city’s planning staff said the retail operation would better serve the public in “an established retail or commercial area along a primary” street. None of the three dispensary locations approved by the state in Summit County is on a primary street.
The Akron location — on the ground floor of an empty three-story office building owned by developer Tony Troppe — is already zoned for commercial use. It’s near other pharmacies, but tucked out of sight from the Akron Art Museum or John and James L. Knight Center.
It’s also in a nonresidential area — away from schools and playgrounds and parks and churches — within the acceptable boundaries of a pre-approved map Mayor Dan Horrigan and his planning staff issued last year.
“The more I looked at this proposal, the more I was impressed with the professionalism of the medical program that we are bringing to our residents,” said Councilman Rich Swirsky, who represents the area of downtown where the dispensary would be located.
Swirsky — along with Councilwoman Tara Samples, who represents the closest residential neighborhood, and At-Large Councilwoman Linda Omobien, a licensed chemical dependency counselor — attended the Planning Commission meeting to speak in favor of the downtown dispensary.
“Why would we object to a ‘highly secure and unobtrusive’ facility?” Swirsky asked. “It benefits our residents’ health. It’s going to provide jobs. I think the central location has a lot of advantages.”
The dispensary, which would create 17 local jobs and $13,500 in annual income tax, would be run by Greenleaf Apothecaries LLC. Kate Nelson, director of community engagement and patient services at Greenleaf, said the central location near highways and hospitals and public transit lines would serve as many people as possible.
A Copley resident, Nelson got involved in Ohio’s budding medical marijuana industry when her late grandmother struggled through stage 4 bone cancer. That was before the state passed House Bill 523 in 2016. “She was never allowed to use this treatment option for the pain and nausea she experienced,” Nelson said. “Toward the end of her life, mobility decreased significantly. And patient access is really key to the medical marijuana program’s success, which is why I feel this location overall will best suit patients in the Greater Summit County area, and even beyond.”
Best in business
Based in Lake County, Greenleaf has the best business model for selling medicinal pot, according to the state.
Among the 203 businesses that vied for 56 dispensary licenses, none scored higher than Greenleaf. Of all 376 applications submitted to the state, Greenleaf was one of only three companies awarded a maximum five licenses.
“The No. 1 application — the top of the 376 — was our application in Akron,” David Neundorfer, CEO of Greenleaf, told the Akron Planning Commission.
Applicants were expected to exhibit expertise in serving patients whose pain, trauma, cancer or other qualifying ailments might be soothed with medical marijuana. Security was paramount as the state ranked each proposal.
Greenleaf’s plan for downtown Akron involves renovating 3,600 square feet. Patients would enter a room outfitted with aluminum and bulletproof glass then present their state-issued photo IDs and medical marijuana cards to a receptionist. After the sale, patients would take their marijuana in an “unmarked opaque bag” and exit the shop through a side door that opens onto a parking lot with motion-detection lights.
Outside of normal business hours, the marijuana would be locked in a 16-gauge steel vault shrouded in concrete masonry blocks. Deliveries would be unloaded inside a secure garage.
Though the state says it will miss the Sept. 8 deadline to get the medical marijuana industry off the ground, two other dispensary licenses have been issued in Summit County. Also in Akron, Florida-based 127 OH LLC hopes to sell out off what is now a garage at 737 E. North St. on the southern edge of North Hill.
Illinois-based KDJOH, LLC won state approval for a storefront at 1220 Buchholzer Blvd. beside a Pulp Juice and Smoothie Bar near Chapel Hill Mall.
Greenleaf, whose five applications outranked all others, is moving forward with other locations in downtown Cleveland and Columbus, on Greentree Southwest in southern Canton and along state Route 20 in Wickliffe.
The Planning Commission, having heard differing opinions on the locations from Greenleaf representatives and city planning staff, tabled the item until next month’s meeting at 9 a.m. July 13 in City Council’s chamber at 166 S. High St. in downtown Akron.
Two and a half years after a Coventry Township trustee claims Summit County sheriff’s deputies used excessive force while arresting him, Richard Kutuchief says his life has been forever changed.
Kutuchief says he is more apt to look over his shoulder than he was before. The attorney says he also has new empathy for clients who claim they have been wrongly accused.
He’s now been in their shoes.
“This was the worst experience in my life besides the death of my parents,” Kutuchief said in recent interview. “It was awful. There was no need for this to happen.”
Kutuchief, 65, agreed to reflect on his experience after the Beacon Journal recently learned that a civil suit he filed against Summit County sheriff’s deputies had been resolved. Summit County Council approved legislation earlier this year to settle the federal lawsuit for $118,500.
The settlement marked an end to an ordeal that began Nov. 5, 2015, the day Kutuchief was running for Coventry Township trustee.
Kutuchief was riding his motorcycle and taking photographs in the township when he was stopped by Capt. Richard Armsey, who was dressed in plain clothes and driving an unmarked cruiser. Armsey demanded to know why Kutuchief was taking photographs.
When Kutuchief took out a cellphone and said he was going to take a video, Armsey took Kutuchief to the ground with a leg sweep and then slammed him onto the car, according to Kutuchief’s lawsuit.
Kutuchief was charged with obstructing official business and resisting arrest. The obstruction charge was later dismissed and a Barberton Municipal Court jury found Kutuchief not guilty of the other charge in March 2016.
He ended up winning a Coventry Township trustee seat against two opponents. Kutuchief previously served on the Coventry school board from 1990 to 1998 and has been an attorney for 39 years.
Kutuchief filed a lawsuit against Armsey and Deputy Robert Sombati, who arrived at the scene after Kutuchief’s arrest, in Summit County Common Pleas Court in March 2017. Kutuchief claimed in the lawsuit that he had suffered long-term physical and emotional injuries. At the defendants’ request, the lawsuit was transferred to U.S. District Court.
Kutuchief said he took this step because, despite his acquittal, Armsey in particular hadn’t faced any consequences. In fact, Armsey was a lieutenant when Kutuchief was arrested and has since been promoted to captain.
“I believe we all have to take responsibility for our acts and behavior,” Kutuchief said.
Kutuchief said he also sued because he was injured. He said his legs were bruised and he was in the process of hip treatment. He recently had hip replacement surgery.
As the civil suit was moving through the process, the two sides reached an agreement. Summit County Council passed legislation approving the settlement on Jan. 8.
Jason Dodson, chief of staff for Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro, said the county decided to approve the settlement after consulting with its insurance provider and the insurance provider’s attorney. He declined further comment on the lawsuit.
Summit County paid $75,000 to the insurance company as a self-insured retention, which serves as the county’s deductible. The insurance company paid the rest of the settlement. The county budgets reserve funds annually to cover lawsuit payments like this, Dodson said.
Armsey and Sombati declined comment for this story.
Inspector Bill Holland, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, said no disciplinary action was taken as a result of Kutuchief’s arrest and the sheriff’s office made no changes to procedures. He said the actions taken “complied with the polices and procedures of the sheriff’s office.”
Terry Gilbert, a Cleveland attorney who represented Kutuchief in his civil lawsuit, couldn’t be reached.
Jeff Laybourne, the Akron attorney who handled Kutuchief’s criminal case, said Kutuchief’s acquittal and civil settlement served as vindication.
“I’m thrilled for him,” Laybourne said. “This is one of those rare instances where an officer that I believe was in the wrong in this situation was held accountable by the jury’s verdict and, obviously, with this settlement.”
Kutuchief said he thinks the deputies overall do an excellent job. Coventry Township contracts with the department for police protection.
But when deputies or officers don’t do a good job, Kutuchief said, they should be held accountable.
“If they are not removed, this can happen to you,” he said. “Because it happened to me.”
Stephanie Warsmith can be reached at 330-996-3705, [email protected] and on Twitter: @swarsmithabj.
Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. is a bachelor no more.
Nance caused a stir Tuesday in the Akron legal community when he got a marriage license in Summit County Probate Court and then tied the knot in the Summit courthouse with longtime girlfriend Hailey Pince, a model.
Summit County Common Pleas Judge Amy Corrigall Jones performed the ceremony and then memorialized it on Facebook.
“What an honor to be able to celebrate this special day and officiate the wedding ceremony for Hailey and Larry!” Jones wrote. “Go CAVS!”
The post includes a photo of Jones with the happy couple. Jones, who played and coaches basketball at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, stands nearly as tall as Nance.
Nance, 25, an Akron native who played for Revere High School and the University of Wyoming, was part of a midseason trade to the Cavaliers. He averaged 8.5 points and seven rebounds during the regular season, according to the Bleacher Report.
Nance wears the same number — 22 — that his father, Larry Sr., wore on his Cavaliers jersey when he played for the team from 1987 to 1994.
At 6 feet 9 inches, Nance had to bend over slightly to go through the metal detector at the Summit courthouse.
When Nance and Pince asked for directions to probate court to get a marriage license, attorney Adam Van Ho jokingly told them, “Don’t do it!” Nance laughed. His bride-to-be did not.
Later in the day, Pince on Instagram posted that she and Nance celebrated their four-year anniversary “by tying the knot at the courthouse in the most Hailey and Larry style. No makeup, hair in a quick ugly pony, Larry in some lulu lemon pants and yeezy’s… I loved every second of it! We needed to get the legal marriage done before our destination wedding and today just seemed like the best day to do it.”