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Plane crash, missing ballots and a serial pooper top list of area stories for 2015

By Akron Beacon Journal (TNS) staff • Dec 27, 2015 at 6:00 AM

The mayor of Akron suddenly resigns. A local university makes painful cuts. Hundreds of general election ballots go uncounted. A plane crashes into a residential neighborhood.

What story will you remember from 2015?

Here are some highlights:

January

• Brimfield Police Chief David Oliver, who won a national following for his Facebook page, retires amid allegations that he had bullied and berated a female patrol officer. A lawsuit is pending.

February

• Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic asks U.S. District Court Judge John Adams to recuse himself from cases involving the city, accusing him of repeated bias.

March

• Plusquellic bars Councilman Bob Hoch from his State of the City address, with mayoral spokeswoman Stephanie York saying the mayor feared being shot by the retired grocery store manager. Plusquellic refuses advisers who tell him to apologize.

• Resident captures photo of man who has been pooping on cars in the Kenmore area since 2012.

• One month after retiring, former Akron fire captain David Ware shoots and kills his wife, Teresa, before turning the pistol on himself at their New Franklin home.

April

• Kent State University President Beverly Warren announces she wants to double research spending ($23 million in 2013) over the next five years.

• Steven Bittel, who had been serving as the Nordonia Hills school board president, is sentenced to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to multiple child pornography charges.

May

• Plusquellic, Akron’s longest-serving mayor, unexpectedly resigns. He blames the Beacon Journal.

• University of Akron President Scott Scarborough announces the school will market itself as “Ohio’s polytechnic university.”

• Knight Foundation gives $5 million to UA and the nonprofit DANCECleveland to launch the National Center for Choreography on the Akron campus — only the second center of its kind in the country.

June

• Garry Moneypenny replaces Plusquellic then promptly resigns after admitting to inappropriately touching a female city employee. Jeff Fusco becomes Akron’s third mayor in two weeks.

• Shawn Eric Ford Jr., 19, is sentenced to death for the 2013 beating deaths of prominent attorney Jeffrey Schobert and his wife, Margaret “Peggy” Schobert.

• UA board of trustees approves $40 million in cuts, including eliminating more than 200 positions and the baseball team.

July

•?Akron’s arts community is up in arms over UA laying off the employees at E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall and questions the center’s future.

August

• Plusquellic is caught urinating in public; receives a verbal warning from UA police.

• The LeBron James Family Foundation and UA announce a plan to put as many as 2,300 Akron kids through college as part of a new partnership.

September

• Heated campaign for Stow Clerk of Courts comes to a head. Incumbent Kevin Coughlin is accused of making decisions that financially favored friends. Coughlin fires back by filing an election board complaint against challenger Diana Colavecchio and repeatedly referring to challenger Don Robart as a “perv.”

October

•?First lady Michelle Obama and Akron native and NBA superstar LeBron James address a crowd of thousands at UA in a push for higher education.

November

• Nine people aboard a charter plane die when it crashes into a residential Ellet neighborhood while trying to land at Akron Fulton International Airport. Amazingly, destroyed apartment building is completely empty at the time.

• Voters elect Dan Horrigan to a four-year term, making him Akron’s fourth mayor in a year.

• The headline-grabbing campaign for the Stow court clerk race is resolved: Voters give challenger Diana Colavecchio a narrow victory.

• Missing postmarks disqualify nearly 900 absentee ballots from being counted in Summit County’s general election.

December

• A lawsuit over Akron’s fire promotions is settled after a court battle that lasted a decade.

• Summit County Councilwoman Tamela Lee is indicted on federal bribery charges.

• Daniel Kovacevic strolls the streets of Akron in black neighborhoods with a rifle strapped to his back, setting off a series of walks in support of and against open-carry gun rights.

• The battle between Western Reserve Hospital Partners and Summa Health continues. While Summa backed off a threat to evict the Cuyahoga Falls hospital by year’s end, court filings continue. In one document filed this month, Summa contends that UYS — a private company formed to find new land for relocating Western Reserve — is short for “Up Yours Summa.”

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©2015 the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)

Visit the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) at www.ohio.com

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