• Girls dominate winners’ circle at 80th All-American Soap Box Derby

    The portrait of today’s FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby winners looks far different than it did when the race started more than 80 years ago. More ages are represented, a wider range of ethnicities is involved — but most of all, a lot more long hair is peeking out from underneath helmets.Girls weren’t allowed to race in the derby until 1971, but that didn’t stop some from trying, including an 11-year-old June Gavin who wrote to the Beacon Journal in 1937 and asked
  • All-American Soap Box Derby has first African-American winner; kids race despite rain at Derby Downs

    It’s come close before. It’s even experienced delays in the past.But in its 80 years, the All-American Soap Box Derby never has been canceled because of rain.Despite a daylong forecast calling for storms and a brief run-in in the morning, Saturday’s running of the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby at Derby Downs was no exception.This year’s derby did have a first, though, and a positive one at that: For the first time in the race’s history, an African-American
  • Regional news briefs — July 23, 2017

    AKRONPolice seek men in assaultAKRON: Police were looking for two brothers who are considered armed and dangerous after a reported assault in Akron on Thursday night. Beacon Journal news partner News 5 Cleveland reported that officers responded to reports of shots fired in the 700 block of Amherst Street around 11:30 p.m. Thursday.A 19-year-old man told the officers that he was involved in a quarrel with an unnamed man, according to the News 5 Cleveland report. The unnamed man tried to pull a ha
  • Stark State considering offering four-year degrees; college president says no plan to overlap what other schools offer

    Stark State College, which is building an Akron campus, is looking at offering four-year degrees.The state’s budget bill, signed last month by Gov. John Kasich, includes a provision allowing Ohio’s two-year community colleges to seek state approval to offer bachelor’s degrees.Traditionally, bachelor’s degrees have only been offered at four-year colleges and universities.Stark State President Para Jones stressed last week that the school is not seeking to duplicate what UA
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  • New Norton panther statue inspired by fallen football player

    For almost four years, Norton grad and former football player Basil James “BJ” Ranier fought a battle with leukemia with courage and humor. It was a battle that was not to be won, and BJ died at age 22 in August 2013. But those who love him remember his spirit, and now they’ll have a tangible reminder every time they rally around their beloved sports teams at the high school stadium.Norton artist Virgil Villers, who created the crouching panther atop a stone arch in front of th
  • Bob Dyer: When the outdoors sneaks indoors

    My colleague Cheryl Powell is usually a cool customer. Even when all hell is breaking loose, she rarely gets flustered.But that was not the case Wednesday morning when she awoke and began to get ready for work.She entered her upstairs bathroom, looked in the toilet and discovered she had company.“At first,” she said, “I saw it out of the corner of my eye. I was thinking, ‘What the heck is that? Did someone not flush?’ ”A closer look revealed two eyes. A
  • Kids race in Soap Box Derby despite rain, have first African-American winner

    It’s come close before. It’s even experienced some delays in the past.But in its 80 years, the All-American Soap Box Derby never has been canceled because of rain.Despite a daylong forecast calling for storms and a brief run-in in the morning, Saturday’s running of the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby at Derby Downs was no exception.This year’s derby did have a first, though, and a positive one at that: For the first time in the race’s history, an African-Ame
  • Open house and talk set for Akron’s John Brown House this Thursday; new panels will be on display

    The John Brown Open House and Community Forum series continues Thursdaywith a talk by social justice organizer Jason Ferrell.The event will be at the John Brown House, 550 Copley Road in West Akron. The open house will run from 4 to 6 p.m., with the forum beginning at 6 p.m.Ferrell will share his work with organizing Standing Up for Justice as part of a committee for the Wooster-Orrville NAACP.Reservations are not required for the free event.Attendees will have the opportunity to view new panels
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  • Akron police seek brothers who allegedly fired shots at man

    The Akron Police Department is looking fortwo brothers who are considered armed and dangerous after an alleged assault in Akron on Thursday night. Beacon Journal news partner News 5 Cleveland reported that officers responded to reports of shots fired in the 700 block of Amherst Street around 11:30 p.m. Thursday.A 19-year-old man told the officers that he was involved in an argument with an unnamed man, according to the News 5 Cleveland report. This unnamed man tried to pull a handgun from his po
  • Akron seek brothers who allegedly fired shots at man

    The Akron Police Department is looking fortwo brothers who are considered armed and dangerous after an alleged assault in Akron on Thursday night. Beacon Journal news partner News 5 Cleveland reported that officers responded to reports of shots fired in the 700 block of Amherst Street around 11:30 p.m. Thursday.A 19-year-old man told the officers that he was involved in an argument with an unnamed man, according to the News 5 Cleveland report. This unnamed man tried to pull a handgun from his po
  • Update: Sheriff’s deputy arrested in sexual assault pleads not guilty; incident happened outside gentleman’s club

    An 18-year veteran deputy of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office pleaded not guilty Friday morning to five felony charges connected to the sexual assault of a 26-year-old woman.Antonio Williamson, 46,appeared in plain clothes in person. Inmates in custody usually dress in orange jail jumpsuits and are arraigned in Summit County Common Pleas Court via video from the Summit County Jail.Williamson, however, was being held at the Stark County Jail, rather than the Summit jail where deputies pro
  • Regional news briefs — July 22, 2017

    STATEWIDELowered flags honor RegulaCOLUMBUS: Gov. John Kasich ordered that all flags be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset Friday on all public buildings and grounds throughout Ohio, in honor of the life and service of former Congressman Ralph Regula. Regula, 92, of Navarre died Wednesday. He helped create what is now the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and played a key role in starting the Northeastern Ohio Medical University and Stark State College.A Republican from rural Bethlehem Towns
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  • New rooftop patio offers a different view of Barberton downtown

    Visitors to Barberton can get a bird’s-eye view of downtown from a new rooftop patio over the Kave coffee bar, thanks to a $300,000 investment by the nonprofit Neighborhood Development Services (NDS).The opening of the unique attraction was kicked off Friday morning by local and state dignitaries, including Mayor Bill Judge, Congressman Tim Ryan, State Rep. Tavia Galonski, State Sen. Vernon Sykes, and Paul Weech, CEO of the national NeighborWorks America.A NeighborWorks grant was among fun
  • Akron car show Sunday to honor drag-racing pioneer `Akron Arlen’

    Racing enthusiasts will gather in Akron for a car show Sunday that will be a celebration of local drag-racing pioneer Arlen Vanke, who died in June. His 81st birthday would have been Saturday. Arlen Vanke’s Birthday Party Car Show is open to the public, and will run from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday outside the rehabbed building that once served as the terminal for the Akron Fulton International Airport.The address of the terminal building is 1800 Triplett Boulevard.The event will feature some of th
  • Soap Box Derby Hall-of-Famers look back on car design that “saved the derby”

    When participation in the All-American Soap Box Derby race began to shrink in the 1990s, two directors of Chicago-area races knew something needed to change.But the final push for Ken Cline came in the form of a phone call from a single mom living in an apartment who wanted to get her child involved but didn’t have a workshop where they could build a car.“I basically had to tell this lady, ‘I’m sorry, but the derby’s probably not for you,’” Cline said. &
  • Area religious events — July 22, 2017

    The following is a listing of Akron-area religious events. They include:EventsThe Chapel in Marlboro — 8700 Edison St. NE, Marlboro Township. 9 and 10:15 a.m. Sunday. Luke Witte will speak at the 9 and 10:15 a.m. worship services. Also, 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Game Fest. Competitive inflatables such as the giant obstacle course, basketball and double slide. There will also be a bouncy house. 330-935-0132. Christ Is the Answer Ministries West Campus — 421 W. Thornton St., Akron. 6 p.m.
  • Betty Lin-Fisher: Here are ways to curb your junk mail

    Swimming in junk mail?Here are some ways to curb your junk mail, according to the Summit County Office of Consumer Affairs. A pamphlet can be found at www.tinyurl.com/junkmailservice Prices for the Direct Marketing Association service have been updated below to reflect a price increase.1. Avoid contests that require you to fill out an entry form. These are primarily used to get names and addresses for sales and to sell as leads for other companies or charities.2. Whenever you sign up for a new s
  • Betty Lin-Fisher: Generosity creates junk mail problem

    There’s no question Linda Gilliland is a pet lover and has a big heart for animal rights.Gilliland co-founded the local Friends of Pets group about 25 years ago. Over the years, she and other volunteers have helped find homes for countless cats and dogs. The group now focuses only on cats.But Gilliland’s charitable generosity over the years is now the reason her incoming mail has become unbearable.Gilliland is swimming in mail from charitable organizations asking for her help.In a si
  • Copley doctor offering free dental services Aug. 4

    COPLEY TWP.: Free dental services will be offered for the second year on Aug. 4 by Dr. Stephanie Aldrich and her team at Akron Dental Concepts. Aldrich is also offering free shuttle service from a nearby Metro bus station. Aldrich is offering free fillings, extractions and cleanings on a first-come, first-served basis between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. at her office at 1000 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road, Suite 13 in Copley Township. The office building is located across the street from the Copley High Scho
  • Jury finds 19-year-old Akron man guilty in friend’s shooting death; Fred Taylor maintains his innocence, plans to appeal

    Nineteen-year-old Fred Taylor has maintained from the start that he didn’t shoot his good friend, Javon Knaff on Memorial Day in 2016. A Summit County jury didn’t believe him, but decided he didn’t mean to do it.After deliberating for about three and a half hours, the jury of four men and eight women found Taylor not guilty of a murder charge defined as “intentionally causing the death” of another, but guilty of a murder charge that involves causing a person’s
  • Exchange between Lydia Culp and one of her customers

    When Lydia Culp sold a horse, equipment or another item to a customer, she often claimed it had been sent or was on its way. She messaged with the customer over days or weeks, giving different excuses for why the horse or item hadn’t arrived.The following is an excerpt of text messages between Culp and Aaron Griffen, who lives in Montana and paid $4,500 for a horse named Boomer last July.It’s unclear whether Boomer actually existed, but Griffen never got a horse. Griffen quit texting
  • Several thefts and acts of vandalism reported Thursday in several Akron-area parks

    Seven vehicles parked in six different Summit Metro Parks areas had their windows smashed, and purses were taken Thursday. At least one incident happened early in the morning, before 8 a.m.“Don’t make it easy on opportunists,” spokesperson Nathan Eppink said. “Use the same precautions in our parking lots that you would in any other public parking area.”The park district’s ranger department suggests keeping loose change and valuables — purses, wallets, ev
  • Northfield woman scammed 22 people across U.S., selling horses, other items and not providing them

    Lydia Culp’s web of broken promises stretched across the country. Ten-year-old boys in New Mexico she promised a new rodeo horse after collecting their hard-earned $2,000. A teen-age girl from California excited about the perfect horse to replace the beloved one she lost. A rancher in Montana who scrimped together enough for a new horse for his job but never got it. Culp’s reputation as a swindler led her victims and others in the tight-knit horse community to band together and crea
  • Washington man killed in multi-vehicle crash Thursday on state Route 8

    A 47-year-old man from Washington was killed and several other people injured in a multi-vehicle crash on state Route 8 in Boston Heights Thursday afternoon.The accident happened about 4 p.m. in the northbound lanes of Route 8 near the Interstate 80/turnpike exit lane, according to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.An American Coach motorhome driven by a man from Pennsylvania struck a Honda Odyssey with eight passengers that was stopped on the exit ramp to I 80. The Honda then hit a Dodge
  • Forty Summit County residents overdosed this week, report shows

    The number of Summit County residents who showed up in emergency rooms after overdosing on drugs this week ticked up slightly over last, but remained less than the recent trend, a weekly report by public health officials shows. For the week of July 14, the number of drug overdoses involving Summit County residents was 40 compared to 35 last week. In recent months, about nine or 10 people per day get help in ERs for overdoses. This week, that number was six or seven. The majority were male - 62.
  • Update: Sheriff’s deputy arrested for sexual assault pleads not guilty; incident happened outside gentleman’s club

    A Summit County Sheriff’s deputy arrested for the sexual assault of a 26-year-old woman appeared in plain clothes in person — rather than dressed on an orange jail jumpsuit by video arraignment from the Summit County Jail — Friday morning, despite being in custody.Antonio Williamson pleaded not guilty to the five felony charges against him in a brief appearance in Summit County Common Pleas Court.Magistrate Dawn Humphrys gave Williamson a $10,000 bond and ordered that he be pla
  • July 21-23 Weather

    Friday, July 21 will still be hot with a high of 96.Winds will start from the northwest at 6 mph and increase by late afternoon to 15 mph and will come from from the west.
  • Akron-area startup aims to fill Walmart stores with household cleaner aimed at millennials

    Tom Wolski wants to see Sofia in Walmart.More specifically, he wants the soy-based household cleaner he developed, Sofia’s Soy Cleaner, on the shelves of the nation’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer.Wolski, a 60-year-old Fairlawn resident, appears to be well on his way to fulfilling that dream, with selling to the 80-million-strong millennial generation as his primary goal.He is newly returned from Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s once-a-year, invitation-only Open Call program, where h
  • Corrections and clarifications — July 21

    ■  An Aug. 12 gala to support Dreams Academy will be held at the Akron Urban League. A reporter erred in a story that was published in Thursday’s Community section.
  • Patience, humility and soul searching: Zak Husein’s brother reflects on life as Akron police announce murder charges in 2015 slaying at pizza shop

    Sixteen security cameras now watch over the North Hill pizza shop where Zak Husein was shot to death in December 2015.New LED lighting brightens the darkness there after nightfall.Husein’s oldest brother, Ammar Husein, installed a security system that allows staff to buzz in customers picking up pies and buffalo wings while locking others out.Those investments may have been the simplest changes that Ammar, who owns the pizzeria, has made since Zak’s slaying.On Thursday — in the
  • Longtime U.S. Rep. Ralph Regula dies at 92

    Former U.S. Rep. Ralph Regula, who helped create what is now the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, was the father of the Ohio & Erie Canalway and played a key role in starting the Northeastern Ohio Medical University and Stark State College, has died.He was 92.Regula, a Republican from rural Bethlehem Township in Stark County, served 36 low-profile, high-impact years on Capitol Hill before retiring in 2008 as the longest continuous serving congressman in Ohio history.“He was a master at g
  • In uniform, off duty and big trouble: Summit County sheriff’s deputy who ran CSI unit faces charges of raping a 26-year-old woman

    A Summit County sheriff’s deputy who ran the department’s crime scene investigation unit faces rape and other charges for the sexual assault of a 26-year-old woman in a sheriff’s vehicle. Antonio Williamson, 26, was off-duty at the time, but in uniform, a prosecutor’s spokesman said. Williamson was leaving a security job when the incident happened and did not know the victim before the assault, the spokesman said. He would not specify where the alleged incident occurred.
  • In uniform, off duty and big trouble: Summit County sheriff’s deputy who ran CSI unit faces charges for raping a 26-year-old woman

    A Summit County sheriff’s deputy who ran the department’s crime scene investigation unit faces rape and other charges for the sexual assault of a 26-year-old woman in a sheriff’s vehicle.Antonio Williamson, 26, was off-duty at the time, but in uniform, a prosecutor’s spokesman said. Williamson was leaving a security job when the incident happened and did not know the victim before the assault, the spokesman said. He would not specify where the alleged incident occurred.Au
  • Disc Dog league that started in Akron now has a global reach

    Ruger certainly lived up to his name.A newbie to the fast-growing league sport of Disc Dog — which can trace its origins to the Akron area — the young border collie from Bath Township took off like he was shot out of a gun to hunt down the plastic disc.“We named him Ruger because he was a real pistol when we got him,” said owner Megan Crum with a laugh.Ruger proved to be up to the challenge of catching the flying disc, but needed some work on the art of returning it to Cr
  • First 5KDevo will draw fans from all over to downtown Akron

    On July 30, the streets of Akron will be littered with spuds.No, downtown restaurants won’t be dumping Saturday’s leftover fries into the gutters. But hundreds of fans of Akron-spawned band Devo, and folks who just like running in the heat, will gather that morning for the inaugural 5KDevo. Racers will learn about Devo’s Akron and musical history and, if they place in the top three in their age group, earn an official Devo energy dome to help replenish themselves after the race
  • Regional news briefs — July 21, 2017

    HARTVILLEMcDonald’s aids wounded copHARTVILLE: The McDonald’s restaurant at 868 W. Maple St. plans to raise money to help a Uniontown police officer who was shot in the line of duty.The fast-food restaurant will donate 20 percent of all sales from 6 to 8 p.m. July 27 to help Sgt. David White.White was shot four times this month while responding to a domestic violence call in Lake Township. The suspect was shot and killed.White is recovering and has had multiple surgeries at an Akron
  • Green residents fail in attempt to have board deny zoning for a retail complex near their homes

    GREEN: Green Highlands allotment homeowners were unsuccessful in an attempt Wednesday to block zoning for the construction of a retail complex on Massillon Road near their homes.About 50 residents crowded into a Planning and Zoning Commission meeting trying to convince members to change their vote. Homeowners say the restaurants and other retail businesses planned for the development are incompatible with their homes.TWL Investments is developing the land, which was formerly owned by Summa.Three
  • Adults take driver’s seat, take soapbox car down derby hill during parents race

    With a mouth guard in place and war paint smeared across his cheeks, John Denison tied a bandana around his forehead and snarled a menacing growl as his 12-year-old daughter, McKenzie, pointed her camera at him.Saturday is race day for kids, but on Thursday, adults got their shot at feeling the thrill of the hill in FirstEnergy’s All-American Soap Box Derby Parents Race.Denison was one of 81 adults who raced down the hill at Derby Downs Thursday afternoon in a series of 27 heats with three
  • Adults take driver’s seat and steer Soap Box Derby cars during parents race

    With a mouth guard in place and war paint smeared across his cheeks, John Denison tied a bandana around his forehead and snarled a menacing growl as his 12-year-old daughter, McKenzie, pointed her camera at him.Saturday is race day for kids, but on Thursday, adults got their shot at feeling the thrill of the hill in FirstEnergy’s All-American Soap Box Derby Parents Race.Denison was one of 81 adults who raced down the hill at Derby Downs Thursday afternoon in a series of 27 heats with three
  • Summit County jury hears closing arguments in Fred Taylor murder case, will begin deliberations Friday

    Who shot Javon Knaff? Not Fred Taylor, Taylor’s attorney’s say. Summit County prosecutors say he did and that Knaff answered “Fred” when asked who shot him while riding to the ambulance after his shooting on Memorial Day of last year. It will now be up to a Summit County jury to decide. The jury heard closing arguments in Taylor’s murder case Thursday afternoon and will begin deliberations Friday morning.Taylor, 19, of Akron, is charged with murder, felonious assaul
  • Patience, humility and soul searching: Zak Husein’s brother reflects on life as Akron police announce murder charges in 2015 death

    Sixteen security cameras now watch over the North Hill pizza shop where Zak Husein was shot and killed in December 2015.New LED lighting brightens the darkness there after nightfall.And Husein’s oldest brother, Ammar Husein, installed a security system that allows staff to buzz in customers picking up pies and buffalo wings while locking others out.Those investments may have been the simplest changes Ammar, who owns the pizzeria, has made since Zak’s death. On Thursday — in the
  • Medina County eyes 0.25 percent sales tax increase

    MEDINA: Medina County commissioners are eyeing a 0.25 percent sales tax increase.The commissioners are expected to vote next week on placing the issue on the Nov. 7 ballot, the Medina Gazette reports.The increase would raise about $6 million for general operations.“I think we need the extra funds,” Commissioner Patricia Geissman said, according to the newspaper. “Residents need to understand that we haven’t asked for an increase in general operations funding since ’
  • Class on civic education offers glimpse inside City Hall

    Municipal leaders are accepting applications for the inaugural class of the “City of Akron Citizens Institute” — a program that will throw open the doors of city hall for curious residents to ask question of officials and learn more about how city government works.“If residents don’t know or understand what is going on in the halls of their government, it can leave them feeling disconnected and disheartened,” Mayor Dan Horrigan said in launching the applicatio
  • Longtime Congressman Regula dies at 92

    Former U.S. Congressman Ralph Regula died Wednesday night.Regula, who was 92, represented Stark County for 36 years.“With the passing of Ralph Regula, Ohio has lost a devoted public servant and leader,” said Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted in a prepared statement. “From his days at the Ohio Statehouse to his many years on Capitol Hill, Ralph set a standard for service and dignity that we should all aspire to achieve.“In addition to being a model public servant, he was
  • Summit County Sheriff’s deputy indicted for sexual assaulting a 26-year-old woman

    A Summit County Sheriff’s deputy has been indicted on four felony charges by a Summit County grand jury for sexually assaulting a 26-year-old woman.Antonio Williamson, 26, has been charged with rape, kidnapping, gross sexual imposition and two counts of sexual battery, according to a press release from the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office.The Akron Police Department investigated, with cooperation from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office and the Summit County Prosecutor’s
  • Akron man sentenced to 21 years for a string of robberies now facing murder charge in 2015 slaying of UA student Zak Husein

    The moment Ammar Husein saw the mug shot today of the man accused of killing his brother, he recognized something:“Those eyebrows,” Husein said in front of the Akron police department Thursday. “Those are the eyebrows.”It’s been about 1½ years since a gunman walked into Husein’s North Hill pizza shop and demanded money. Husein’s younger brother, University of Akron student Zak Husein, turned over the money, but the robber shot him anyway.After fir
  • July 20 Weather

    Thursday, July 20, will be a few degrees cooler than the 19th, as the high is supposed to be 94.Yesterday, the official reading is 103, which is still a record, but a lot of people read their thermometers at 107 degrees.
  • Stark County police department adds body cameras

    PERRY TWP.: Township police are now using body cameras.The Stark County police department announced this week that its patrol division began using Digital Ally cameras in the field.“The goal of this initiative is to assist officers in collecting evidence for investigations they conduct daily,” police posted on their Facebook page. “Up to this point, traditional recordings have been isolated to the limited perspective of the in-car camera systems.“This enhancement will all
  • Hartville McDonald’s to raise money for wounded Uniontown police officer

    HARTVILLE: McDonald’s, 868 W. Maple St., plans to raise money to help a Uniontown police officer who was shot in the line of duty.The fast-food restaurant will donate 20 percent of all sales from 6 to 8 p.m. July 27 to help Sgt. David White.He was shot four times earlier this month while responding to a domestic violence call in Lake Township. The suspect was shot and killed.White is recovering from multiple surgeries at an Akron hospital.
  • Stark State College interested in offering four-year bachelor’s degrees

    JACKSON TWP.: Stark State College is exploring the idea of offering four-year bachelor’s degrees.The board of trustees for the two-year community college voted Wednesday to start developing the plan and obtaining state approval, the Canton Repository reports.“It’s not our plan to go into bachelor’s degrees in a broad way, only where they align with our region’s workforce needs,” Jones told the newspaper. “We have a lot of very high-demand applied associa

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